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Monday, May 10, 2021/ Ramadan 28, 1442 AH Vol. 36 No. 070 N200

2577 Days after Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited

Insecurity:

@pmlonline

peoplesdailyng

. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

Former head of state refutes link to arrested helicopter

>>>page 5

Military begins 7-day clearing operation in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba >>Page 5

•Arrest 13 suspected Boko Haram members in Kano

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya ( M), Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III ( L) and Commissioner of Police Gombe State, Mr Ishola Babatunde Babaitan, during the closing of Ramadan Tafsir at the Modibbo Bubayero Mosque Gombe, yesterday.

BRT: We sacked over 300 drivers in 1-year to ensure commuter safety

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Boat mishap claims 28 in Niger pAGE 4

Banditry: Kebbi working round Minister assures NEITI, CAC to the clock to tackle humanitarian on Diaspora collaborate on Beneficial crisis - Official voting Ownership Disclosures pAGE 7

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pAGE 19


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PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

News CONTENTS News 2-14 Op.Ed

12-13

Politics 15-17 Stock Watch Business

18 19-20

Metro

21

World New

22

Africa News

23

World News

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BRT: We sacked over 300 drivers in 1-year to ensure commuter safety P rimero Transport Services Limited, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Lagos, said that it had sacked no fewer than 300 drivers in the past year, to ensure the safety of its commuters. Mr Fola Tinubu, Managing Director of the firm, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Sunday, that as part of its efforts to further ensure safety, the firm was one of the foremost transport companies to use speed gadgets to monitor drivers’ speed to ensure that they did not exceed speed limits. “We have sacked over 300 drivers in the last one year for different reasons. “The safety of our commuters is paramount to us and also our assets have to be protected because to replace a bus right

now, you are talking about almost a minimum of N70 million. “It is better we protect them and we are very particular about that,” Tinubu said. The managing director said that the firm had also shown serious commitment to staff training, especially the drivers of the high-capacity buses. “We are very particular about training our drivers and we will continue to train them. We also do health checks for them every six months, and we do eye tests”, he said. On the Cowry card, he said that although the e-Card was a Lagos State Government initiative, it would work better with time as efforts were being made to perfect it. He further said that the firm was working to provide an efficient

and effective transport system that would also be responsive to commuters’ demands and needs. Tinubu said: “We are bringing vehicle parts worth almost a billion naira into the country and should come in by the end of June or early July, so that we can fix all the buses that are down. “We want to put more buses on the road and make people’s lives easier as we have over 200 buses on the road now. “We believe that probably by July or August, we will have over 300-350 buses on the road daily because, by then, the parts will have come in for us to fix buses. “We are working to provide a world class transport service, the main reason we were set up, and we will provide that world class service. We will do everything in out power to ensure that we

provide the world class service to the commuters”. He called for commuters’ patience and cooperation, as the firm was working assiduously to reduce the waiting time to less than between 10 to 15 minutes at bus shelters. “I know waiting at the bus shelter for an hour or more to board a bus can be very disappointing, especially when you are going to work; but we are working to reduce the waiting time to less than between 10 to 15 minutes. “We are working on this and doing everything humanly possible to ensure that we satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of our commuters,” Tinubu added. (NAN)

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Feature 26 Sports 29-31 Back Page

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News

Ag News Editor, Tobias Lengnam

Minister assures on Diaspora voting A

mb. Zubair Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has assured that Nigerians in the Diaspora would soon be able to vote from their countries of residence. He gave the assurance at a webinar organised by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) on Saturday. The minister said the Federal Government was working with relevant authorities, including the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to achieve this feat. He noted that there were about 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora making a significant impact on the country’s economy that could not be ignored. He added that Nigerians in the Diaspora were critical components when considering the country’s development, saying that the need to effectively mobilise them could not be over-emphasised. The webinar, held under the topic: ‘Mobilising Nigerians in the Diaspora for National Development’, was attended by Nigerians from across the world and was the first in the series. Dada, however, urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to remain patriotic and committed to the country’s development irrespective of the

current security situation which he said was being addressed. “No matter how long you stay abroad, there is no place like home, I urge you to remain patriotic and committed to the development of your fatherland. “The Federal Government is doing everything humanly possible to address the current issues of insecurity in the country,” he said. According to him, Nigerians in the Diaspora could also make suggestions and proffer solutions on how the situation could be addressed. He, however, decried the lack of cordial relationship with the country’s mission abroad and Nigerians in the Diaspora, saying that Nigerians should not wait until they had problems before locating the mission. Dada noted that though there may be some bad eggs in some of the

country’s foreign missions, efforts were being made to address the situation. He said NIDCOM had all the instruments it needed to serve Nigerians in the Diaspora. “NIDCOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one and the same, we are out here to serve you,” he said. He said the Federal Government was doing everything to address the security and infrastructural deficit in the country. The minister noted that in spite of the country’s security challenges, foreigners had continued to come in droves to invest because of the benefits they stand to gain. He said while there were some bad eggs among Nigerians in the Diaspora, the patriotic ones should come to join the government in developing the country. “In spite of the odds and

shortcomings, we have to come home to develop the country, no one can do it better for us,” he said. In his remarks, the Minister of Interior Affairs, Rauf Aregbeshola, blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the delay in the issuance of international passports. He assured that everything was being done to resolve the issue. According to him, the pandemic affected the operations of the Nigerian Immigration Service with regards to issuing international passports. Ms Abike Dabiri-Erewa, NIDCOM Chief Executive Officer, encouraged Nigerians in the Diaspora to follow up with the commission to be availed of opportunities they could tap into. Meanwhile, Ms Susan Fajana, a Nigerian from the United Kingdom, charged Nigerians in the Diaspora

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Interior / Principal Registrar of Marriages in Nigeria, Dr. Shuaib Belgore (Middle) flanked by the Representative of CAN President, Apostle Biodun Sanyaolu (left), Chief Imam of Abuja Dr. Mohammad Adams (right), Barr. Soyinka- Onijala (2nd right) and other dignitaries in a group photograph after the opening ceremony of the Stakeholders Conference on the Administration of Statutory Marriage in Nigeria, held ar the weekend in Abuja.

My administration committed to making life better for Osun people – Oyetola

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ov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun says that his administration’s priority is to make life better for the masses who voted him to office. Oyetola stated this during an enlightenment programme, organised by Ministry of Information and Civic Engagement, on Sunday in Apomu, Isokan Local Government Area of the state. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor was represented at the occasion by his Special Adviser on Civic Orientation, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye. He said that notwithstanding the economy challenges currently

being faced by the state and the country at large, he would continue to put smiles on the faces of the people of the state. Oyetola added that his administration was resolutely committed to making policies and programmes that would be of immense benefit to the citizens. He, however, appealed to residents of the state not to relent in their support for his administration, stressing that the best had yet to come. “I will continue to do my best to put smiles on the faces of the masses. That is my covenant with God and the people who voted me to power. “All we need from our people

is their support and prayers for our administration to succeed,” the governor said. In his remarks, Alapomu of Apomu, Oba Kayode Afolabi, commended the governor’s efforts at reaching out to the masses through the civic engagement programme. He described the programme as a virile way of bridging the gap between the government and the governed, as obtainable in any democratic setting. The traditional ruler urged government to sustain the programme so as to further strengthen participatory governance in the state. He expressed appreciation to

the governor for what he called his value- added intervention programmes in health, infrastructure and education, among others. In their separate remarks, Majority Leader in the state House of Assembly, Mr Olanrewaju Maruf and Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Yemi Lawal, described Oyetola as a selfless leader, who was passionate about the welfare of the people. They called for continued support of residents of the state for the Oyetola-led administration for it to deliver more dividends of democracy. (NAN)

to be more involved in activities concerning the country rather than being critics always. On his part, Mr Ade Omole, Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Voting Council, noted that countries around the world evolve with time along with the dynamism associated with global trends. He noted that Nigeria as the most populous black nation in the world could therefore not be an exemption in the issue of Diaspora voting. Omole, who is also the leader of the United Kingdom chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said Nigeria’s electoral law should be reviewed to guarantee Nigerians in the Diaspora the right to vote. He said this was especially so in view of the contributions they made to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and her overall development. (NAN)

Deputy Governor of Zamfara, Madi Guzau (3rd R); President, Automobile and Touring Club, Nigeria, Ishaku Bamaiyi (2nd R); Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr Jelani Aliyu and other Stakeholders, during the unveiling of Racing Nigeria Motorsports Games and the Nigeria Motorsports Team on Saturday in Abuja

FCT: Gwagwalada PDP candidate promises to take everybody along

Aisha Buhari donates food items to IDPs in Niger Education

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PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

By Usman Shuaibu

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he Chairmanship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for 2022 in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon Rabiu Adamu Saba, has promised to carry everybody along irrespective of the party’s affiliation. Saba stated this while speaking to newsmen after he won the Party Primaries election on Thursday in Gwagwalada. He called on the PDP supporters/members to deem it necessary to work for the progress of the party in 2022 election in the area. He appealed to the aggrieved members of the party to accept the outcome of the election in good faith. The Gwagwalada PDP Chairmanship Candidate, however, said if he wins the 2022 Chairmanship election, he would focus on the People’s oriented programmes in the area.

W/Africa generates 16% of world road crashes, fatalities - FRSC

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orps Commander Olusegun Ogungbemide, Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos has said that West Africa generated 16 per cent of road fatalities and crashes in the world. Ogungbemide made the disclosure at the commemoration of the 2021 West African Road Safety Organisation (WARSO) Day in Lagos on Saturday. The theme of 2021 WARSO is “Road Safety Consciousness in the Midst of Global Pandemic’’. According to him, WARSO is the implementation of FRSC policies in West Africa and that only 37 out of 44 countries in Africa were committed to the

organisation’s mission. “On the average, 18 deaths are recorded out of 100,000 world population number and the population of West Africa vehicular volume stands at two per cent compared to the entire world. “It is quite unfortunate that the rate of crashes and fatalities in West Africa stands at 16 per cent out of the two per cent vehicles compared to the world which means we contribute enormously to crashes compare to the number of vehicles owned by West Africa. “That is why our decision as a region is in line with the FRSC which serve as a lead agency for so many years being able to drop

the rate of crashes in Nigeria, let the entire West African Counties key into this. “The truth of the matter is that we have a road linkage, people travel from Nigerian through Seme, from Togo to Ghana and so on while the road crashes on these roads are enormous. “If Nigeria can play this lead role why not extent it to the entire West Africa, that is what gave birth to WARSO,” Ogunbemide explained. He said that before now, road traffic crashes was the highest contributor to the rate of death in West Africa region but that COVID-19 had recorded more than three million deaths in a year.

Deputy Corps Marshal Peter Kibo, Lagos-Ogun Commanding Officer, represented by Deputy Corps Commander, Gali Bata, urged other countries to work toward ensuring that crashes were addressed and reduced to barest minimum in the region. In a goodwill messages, representative of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Taiwo Abiodun, commended the effort of FRSC for reducing crashes on Nigeria roads. Abiodun pleaded with FRSC to improve on detecting alcohol consumption on drivers because it had helped in reducing road accidents.


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News

EU contract with AstraZeneca on COVID-19 jabs ends June

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he European Union has not extended a contract for COVID-19 vaccines with British-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca, Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton said on Sunday. “We have not extended the order beyond the month of June. “We will see. We will see what happens,” Breton told French broadcaster France Inter with regards to AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has been linked with a very rare risk of potential blood clots, especially for younger women, resulting in some countries restricting its use to only older age groups. Breton expressed a positive view about the quality of AstraZeneca’s shot. “This is a good vaccine,” he said. The European Commission on May 8, struck a deal with COVID-19 vaccine producer BioNTech/Pfizer to buy up to 1.8 billion additional doses until 2023. (dpa/NAN)

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Boat mishap claims 28 in Niger

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o fewer than 28 persons have lost their lives in a boat mishap in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger. The Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ahmed Inga

confirmed is in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Sunday. He said the occupants of the boat were 100 passengers coming from Zumba from Tija village of

Munya Local Government Area of the state. Inga said the incident happened on May 8, at about 6 p.m 50 metres to their destination when the boat hit a stump of a tree and broke. He said 65 people survived,

28 corpses recovered by local divers while seven people are still missing. The director general said search and rescue operation was still ongoing to recover the missing persons. (NAN)

Court declares Usman Mohammed Jahun as Commander General of VGN By Usman Shuaibu

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he Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Kaduna State Judicial Division has declared one Dr Usman Mohammed Jahun as an authentic Commander General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) with Appeal No: CA/K/253/2018. This was contained in a press release signed by the Secretary General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Gwagwalada chapter, Hon. El-Usman Adamu and made available to Peoples Daily on Monday. The release said the Kaduna Court of Appeal had declared that one Navy Captain Umar Bakori (rtd) was no longer the National Chairman of Vigilante Group of Nigeria. The release further pointed out that Vigilante Group of Nigeria Gwagwalada Chapter would not allow one Ali Sokoto to operate an illegal Vigilante office situated along Doma fueling station in Gwagwalada based on the judgment of Court of Appeal Kaduna State.

From left: Inductee, Mrs Josephine Ozomadu; Rev. Fr. Godwin Aniakor; another inductee, Mrs Ifeoma Ume and chairman of the occasion, Chief Livinus Umeh, during the induction of some selected Catholic women as ambassadors by the Enugu Diocesan Catholic women organization at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, yesterday in Enugu.

RTEAN launches accident insurance scheme, begs FG for Bank By Usman Shuaibu

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he management of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has launched Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS) for the drivers across the country, while the National President of the association Alhaji Muhammed Musa called on the Federal Government to establish

Bank of Transportation in the country. In his address at the occasion, Musa also pleaded with the Federal Government to privatize the federal roads so as to enable the private investors to come in, so that the budget allocated for the construction of roads could be channeled to other meaningful ventures that would bring development to the country.

He said: “Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme which is targeted to benefit Millions of Nigerians who travel across the country in our major parks and garage that accidentally have an accident which required emergency respond towards medical attention”. According to him, “millions of Nigerians depend on transportation as a source of

their livelihood and we are ready to do more, which this programme can create huge employment opportunities”. He charged the members of the association across the country to be law-abiding citizens at all times, adding that they should obey the laid down rules and regulations guiding the COVID-19 pandemic in the area of their operations.

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PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

News Insecurity: Military commences 7 day clearing operation in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi & Mustapha Adamu, Kano

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he military spike Operation code named Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) has commenced a 7-day clearing operation in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States. This is as troops confirmed the arrest of 13 members of Boko Haram sect in Kano state on Saturday. A Military source who did not want to be named, disclosed that the operation was sequel to the incessant armed bandits’ operation in some communities across Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States which had resulted in the death of some locals. It would also be recalled that some soldiers on duty behind NASME Barracks in Makurdi were recently ambushed by some suspected armed herdsmen. Our source disclosed that the clearance operation covers some islands behind NASME Barracks in Makurdi and Gbajimba in Guma Local Government Area of Benue where it is believed that the armed bandits who normally come from Nasarawa State have their hideouts and launch attacks on innocent people. Also, the clearing operation is said to have covered the Sankera axis of Logo, Ukum and KatsinaAla local government areas down to Yoyo River and Kwente in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue where the armed militia, led by one Chekere also known as Azonto terrorise locals. Our impeccable military source urged members of the Public to remain calm and go about their legitimate business without fear, saying that the operation targets specific locations and is meant to bring about peace in all communities of the three states to enable farmers go to their farms and return in peace. He noted that the outcome of the operation which is still ongoing would be made known by the military high command at the appropriate time. Meanwhile, Nigerian Army has confirmed the arrest of 13 members of Boko Haram sect in Kano state

•Arrest 13 suspected Boko Haram members in Kano on Saturday. Peoples Daily gathered that the arrest was made when the troops stormed Filin Lazio, Hotoro area in Kano metropolis on Saturday evening and raided a mosque and some houses.

Some residents in the area revealed that the raid exercise was carried out while the Muslim faithful were breaking their Ramadan fast, situation that caused fears in the people of the area.

Some eyewitnesses also revealed that the troops also took away some unidentified items from the surroundings of the Mosque. In an interview with Peoples Daily in Kano yesterday, the spokesman of 3rd Brigade

of the Nigerian Army, Njoko Irabor,confirming the raid and arrest of 13 suspects. He said that the operation had been carried out in the area, adding that it is going to be a continuous exercise.

Former head of state refutes link to arrested helicopter

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ormer Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has described as false and unfounded the fake news linking him to a purported arrested helicopter supplying food to bandits. A statement by Dr Yakubu Suleiman, media aide to Abubakar,

said that the general disclosed he would have ignored such spurious news but has to set the record straight. Abubakar, who handed power to a democratically elected president in 1999 after years of military rule, disassociated himself from such a heinous crime unbecoming of any

patriotic citizen. “This kind of fake news has the potential of aggravating the already tense security situation in the country and should not be condoned,” he said. He lamented how individuals could be so callous as to peddle such news and smear the image

and character of people. Abubakar urged Nigerians to ignore such treacherous news and to be careful with the kind of information they dish out or share on social media. He called on Nigerians to continue to work and pray for enduring peace in Nigeria.(NAN)

Chairman, Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau and Patron Plateau State Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Mr Ubandoma Laven (L) receiving Vigilante Group of Nigeria flag from State Parade Commander, Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Prince Barnabas Philip, during the decoration of the Chairman as their new State Patron of VGN, yesterday in Langtang Local Government Area of Plateau State

Buhari to mark Eid in the Villa By Egena Sunday Ode

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resident Buhari has directed that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis. as Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid AlFitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. To this effect, the President, First Family, his personal aides, members of

cabinet and Service Chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9:00am. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Graba Shehu said there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and

political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic. President Buhari specially thanked the Ulama (Islamic Clerics) and all other religious (Muslim, Christian) leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people, the statement added. It said the President, in addition, took the opportunity to condole with all who lost

family members due to what he described as the ‘madness’ going on in parts of the country. He called on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence. “If we attack institutions guarding us,” the President wonders, “who will protect us in future emergencies?”


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News

Institute, youth organisations confer awards on Buratai

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nstitute for Crisis Resolution, Peacebuilding and Conciliation (ICRPC) has conferred the award of Fellowship and Ambassador of Peace on the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buratai also received awards of excellence from six youth organisations and sociocultural groups including the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN). The various organistions are the Northern Women Assembly, Tiv Youth Peace Initiative, University of Maiduguri Students Union Government, National Patriotic Youths Against Corruption and Transparency Initiative and the Yoruba Youths Assembly. The President of the Institute, Mohammed Wakil, while announcing the award during a dinner with Buratai on Saturday, said the two awards were in recognition of former army chief’s selfless service to Nigeria. Wakil, a former Minister of State for Power under former President Goodluck Jonathan, said that Buratai’s exemplary leadership as army chief played a crucial role in sustaining the corporate existence of the country. He said that the board also decided to confer on the Ambassador Designate an award of Ambassador of Peace to encourage him to continue to champion peace of Nigeria at all times. “The General who has served as a Chief of Army Staff for five years in this country fall into that category. “We have seen in this country what he has done and the institute deemed it feat that he is qualified to be conferred as a fellow and an ambassador of peace.” The leaders of the groups who presented the various awards extolled the former army chief for his doggedness and professionalism in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges in the country. The President of NYCN, Mr Solomon Adodo, said the council endorsed all the awards being conferred on Buratai, adding that the commitment of Buratai to one Nigeria was commendable. Adodo said that the Nigerian Army under Buratai did a lot to defeat the terrorists, adding that the youths were aware that the terrorists would continue to contrive ways to achieve their aims. He called on the Ambassador Designate to mentor youths in the area of patriotism and the need for peace and unity of the country.

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Edo govt orders compulsory vaccination of teachers, others By Osaigbovo Iguobaro

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he Edo State Government has ordered compulsory vaccination of all Basic and Senior Secondary schools teachers including frontline workers across the State against Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease beginning from Monday May 10, 2021 resumption date for Third term academic activities. Permanent Secretary Edo State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Stella-Maris Imasuen

in a Government special announcement, assured that the State Ministry of Health Staff will be on ground to administer the vaccines to teachers in their various schools as from Monday May 10, 2021. Imasuen in the circular dated Friday May 7, 2021, urged Heads and Principals of both Public and Private schools to carryout the Government directive and ensure strict compliance to the Covid-19 protocols which include compulsory use of face

mask and regular hand washing amongst others. The circular which was sighted by the Newspaper, also directed the schools Heads and Principals in Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Areas were hitherto operating morning and afternoon sessions to revert to the normal time of 8:a.m and 2:p.m., explaining that non-pharmaceutical equipment have earlier been distributed to all schools” by the Government. Part of the Circular reads:

“Edo State Government has also directed that as frontline workers, all teachers are to be COMPULSORILY vaccinated against Covid-19 as Staff of the Ministry of Health will be on ground administer the vaccines to teachers in their schools”. A few months ago, the State Government announced a shift in sessions in schools in the densely populated Areas of the State in a bid to flatten Covid-19 curve and health safety protocols.

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), National troops performing, during a inauguration of NYSC Community Development Service activities for 2021 and Director-General Award in Abuja.

Bello appoints speech impaired excleaner as aide

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ov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has appointed a speech impaired youth and former cleaner, Peter Aliyu, as his Senior Special Assistant on Sanitation. This was made known in a statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja. The appointment, Muhammed said, was part of Bello’s efforts to foster inclusion in governance. The appointment is also

coming on the heels of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to ensure more inclusion of persons with disabilities and the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities. According to Muhammed, the appointment of Aliyu, a former cleaner under the Geemoney Cleaning Scheme of the governor, further illustrates his compassionate attribute. “His appointment was announced on Wednesday alongside other new government appointees of government in a press release signed by

the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Folashade Arike Ayoade. “The young man’s appointment came on the heels of his excellency’s observation of the man’s consistency, diligence and dedication which also endeared the new appointee to many other individuals who have hailed his appointment. “Governor Bello has always been known for his nondiscrimination approach to leadership and how he has ensured that individuals of different class, group and even social strata were meted equal

treatment across board. “The governor in his usual disposition did not consider Mr Aliyu’s disability as an hindrance for him to effectively serve but rather as a means to enlist him and prove to the world that in disabilities lie abilities as well,” he said. He said the gesture by the governor was not the first of its kind as he had in the past given special consideration to people with disabilities. This, he said, was by engaging them actively in his government and even signing bills that would enhance their welfare.(NAN)

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PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

crime News

From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

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ebbi State Government is working round the clock to tackle the looming humanitarian crisis in the Zuru Emirate orchestrated by banditry. The State Commissioner of Information, Barrister Rakiya Tanko Ayuba made the assertion

Banditry: Kebbi working round the clock to tackle humanitarian crisis -Official while speaking to media in Kaduna yesterday. Barrister Ayuba who affirmed the situation which affected three

out of the four Local Government Areas (LGAs) that make up the Emirate, said the state government is doing something

about it. The affected areas are; Sakaba Donka/Wasagu and Fakai. Barrister Ayuba, disclosed

that the state government and individuals have donated food items recently, that more will be done.

Police nabs suspected armed robber in Kaduna From: Kaduna

Femi

Oyelola,

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aduna State Police Command has arrested a suspected armed robber responsible for terrorizing and dispossessing unsuspecting commuters of their valuables along Nmandi Azikwe expressway, Kaduna. The Police Public Relations Officer ASP Mohammed Jeliga stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday. The statement stated that on 8th May 2021 the Command acted on credible intelligence received from a Good Samaritan through DPO Kabala West, that the suspect was sighted at their usual spot. “On getting hint of the situation, the operatives of the Command swiftly swung into action, carefully traced the location and succeeded in apprehending the suspect one Attahmona Yusuf 32yrs of age, indigene of Dekina LGA, Kogi state a resident of Karatudu unguwan Romi, Kaduna and recovered in his possession 92G Elite Centurion Beretta Pistol loaded with six (6) rounds of 9mm ammunition. “ The suspect was taken to the station and upon investigation he confessed to been a member of Black Axe

Cult Group and he equally gave useful information as to where he acquired the prohibited firearms. “ Operatives of the

Command have expanded investigation with a view to arresting other members of the gang and recover their operational weapons after

which the suspect will be charged to court. “ In view of the recent harmonious working relationship between the

Kaduna state Police Command and the members of the immediate communities that led to successes in the fight against criminal elements.”

Minority Leader of House of Representatives, Tony Elumelu (R), congratulating the wife of First Civilian Governor of Plateau, Prof. Mary Lar, during her 86th Birthday Anniversary Church thanksgiving, yesterday in Jos . Photo: NAN

Ortom alleys fears over aerial surveillance by Military in Benue From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

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enue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has allayed the fears of Makurdi residents and environs over the aerial surveillance carried out by

the military in parts of the state capital. Residents of the State capital woke up on Sunday to sound of military helicopter hovering over their houses which caused great apprehension. The Governor said the surveillance

was targeted at flushing out criminal elements and bandits from their hideouts. He spoke at a thanksgiving/dedication of child of his Commissioner for Yoiths/ Sports Pastor Ojotu Ojema, assuring that there was no cause for alarm and urged

residents of Makurdi and neighboring communities to cooperate with security agents. Governor Ortom reiterated his stance to ensuring justice, equity and fairness for all.

Police rescue suspect from mob action, recover bus

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he Police Command in Enugu State has rescued one Ugo Nweke from an angry mob that caught him allegedly trying to steal a commercial bus at AbakpaNike in the Enugu metropolis. In a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Enugu, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, said

the suspect had been arrested. Ndukwe said that the police operatives recovered a yellow Toyota Hiace commercial bus which the suspect had attempted to nick. He said that the timely intervention of police operatives saved the suspect from being lynched on April 29 at about 8:40 a.m.

“Police operatives, following a distress call received, immediately rescued and arrested one Ugo Nweke,34, of Cabinet-Amahausa, Obiagu, Enugu, from an angry mob. “The irate mob was at the verge of setting him ablaze with a tyre for allegedly attempting to steal a bus from where it was parked at Texaco, Abakpa-Nike in Enugu

metropolis. “The suspect will be charged to court on conclusion of investigation,’’ he said. Ndukwe said that the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, had commended police operatives for successfully carrying out the operation and other operations within the state. He said: “The commissioner

has charged officers and men of the command to remain resolute and committed to the quest of ridding the state of unrepentant criminals and their activities. “He also enjoins law-abiding residents to continue to assist the police with timely and credible information needed to further curb acts of crime and criminality in the state.’’ (NAN)


PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

PAGE 8

News

PDP berates APC for instigating moves to slash workers’ salaries By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned, in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country. The PDP specifically said that it rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget. The party said this I. A statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The main opposition party disclosed that intelligence

at its disposal indicated that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the administration had plunged our nation in the last six years. The PDP described as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians. According to the statement

by Ologbondiyan, “Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget. “Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads. “Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same

to governance. “It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities. “The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over

60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration. “Our party cautions the APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation. “It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production. “Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leaders and their cronies in government. “Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers”, it said. The party thus counseled the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage the nation’s economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship.

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Page 9

News

Court affirms Benin monarch’s verdict in Okhuoromi village boundary tussle By Osaigbovo Iguobaro

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he Edo State High court sitting in Benin on Wednesday resolved the lingering boundary dispute between Okhuoromi and Egbirhe Villages both in Oredo Local Government Area of the State in favour of Okhuoromi. The court resolved the boundary dispute marked B/361/2019 in favour of Okhuoromi over the failure of the Claimants to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. Delivering judgement, Justice Esther Edigin, said there was no evidence that Claimant (Egbirhe) was forced to approach the palace on the resolution by the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II Customary arbitration verdict on the issues months ago, was valid.

The Judge affirmed that the Oba of Benin remains the sole authority that can decide boundary demarcation across the various Villages and Communities in Benin and as such the proclamation of the Oba of Benin Customary arbitration on the case remains valid. The court also said the Claimant did not appeal against the ruling of the Oba of Benin, which parties in the suit voluntarily submitted themselves to, therefore was fatal that the Claimants prayers before the court to pull a wool, amounts to abuse of court process. The court further held that the Claimants also failed to prove that the messengers that were sent from the Oba of Benin palace to demarcate the boundary between Okhuoromi and Egbirhe Villages as captured in the documentary

evidence presented before the court during the demarcation, was uncontroverted, haven listed to the various submissions of the witnesses and Counsels in the case. Justice Edigin who is the Chief Judge of Edo State, therefore dismissed the Claimants case in its entirety for lacking merit and did not award any cost to the defendants (Okhuoromi). Justice Edigin also dismissed the counter claim that was filed by the defendants against the Claimants for lacking in evidence, stating that the counter claim was of the same status by the Claimant in the suit. Briefing journalists on the verdict of the court, Mr. Monday Oseghae, Counsel to the Claimant, argued that the the people of Egbirhe Village did not seek redress for the

From left: Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Charles Udoh; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah; Managing Director of Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Mr Zavalov Dmitry; and the Interpreter of the Managing Director, Mr Dumebi, during the Minister’s tour of the ALSCON facility in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State at the weekend.

Aisha Buhari donates food items to IDPs in Niger From Minna

L-R: Director Security Services FCTA, Mr Adamu Gwary, incoming FCT Sector Commander, FRSC, MR Samuel Ogar, Director Human Resources Management Department, FCTA DR Bashir Muhammed, Out going FCT FRSC Sector Commander, Mr Gora Wobin, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, Chief of Staff to FCT Minister, Malam Bashir -Bornu at the presentation of the new Sector Commander to the FCT Minister, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Money cannot keep marriage – Cleric

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he Overseer (DO) of Four Square Gospel Church, Wuse District, Rev. Idowu Babatunde says money is not a major factor that guarantees the success and sustainability of marriage. Babatunde said this on Sunday in Abuja in a sermon to mark the 25th wedding anniversary and 60th birthday of Pastor Dickson Ailemen, a Retired Deputy Comptroller of the Nigerian Correctional Service. Ailemen is also the Kuje Zonal Superintendent, Four Square Gospel Church. Babatunde, in the sermon entitled “The Blessings of Trusting in God”, said marriage was the first institution created by God and so, had been under attack by the devil. He said Bill Gate and his wife would not have divorced after 27 years of marriage if money could

guarantee successful and long lasting marriage. According to him, that is why the church consistently talks about the home and the family because if everything goes well in the home and the family, it will be well with the church, society and nation. He said the attitude of anyone that would want to appreciate God for his goodness was to wait patiently on the Lord, adding that staying together peacefully in marriage for 25 years was by God’s grace. According to the cleric, the bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements terrorising the country are from homes. “We live in a world today where everybody is in a hurry to make money and achievements but may I let you know that it is the blessings of God that maketh rich and does

not add sorrow. “So wait on God, He has plans for everyone because he is our creator. There is no need to be in hurry beyond God and at the end begin to do things we are not supposed to do. “If we all understand that God has plans for our lives and cares for us, we will wait patiently and will not be so much in a hurry,” he said. Babatunde said attainment of 60 years of age was by God’s grace considering the economic and security challenges facing the world. He congratulated the celebrator for being able to scale through the hurdles in the civil service and marking his retirement in good health. “The truth of the matter is that every profession has its hazards and when God keeps you to attain retirement, it is a thing to appreciate

God according to the Psalmist in the bible. “When you are not consumed by the hazard you find in your profession and you get to the point of retirement, we should be able to give thanks to God,” he added. In his remark, Ailemen said the surest way to make impact in any career was to have good relationship with people. He expressed joy with the crowd that turned out for the celebration, adding that it was an indication of fulfillment in his service to the Federal Government. Ailemen called on those in active service to learn to be dedicated and honest, adding that it was only God that rewards good deeds. The cleric pledged to be more available and dedicated to the service of God at retirement.

W

Yakubu

Mustapha,

ife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari has donated food items worth millions of naira to the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Shiroro and Munya Local Government Areas of Niger state. The Director General of Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Ibrahim Inga who received the items yesterday at Gwada on behalf of Niger state Governor’s wife Dr Amina Abubakar Bello presented it to the two council chairmen. He appreciated the president’s wife for the prompt intervention and kind gesture to the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) and grateful to the state governor as well as the wife for their continuous support to the agency in carrying out its mandates. The items according to the Director General include; one thousand 5kilogram of rice, one thousand nylons of peak milk, one hundred and fifty cartons of macaroni and spaghetti respectively. He said that the agency has its strategies in place for even distribution of such items with consideration for all the victims within and outside the camps.

sake of the verdict of the Oba of the demarcation of the disputed boundary as presented by his messengers, but that the messengers did not act in accordance with the directive of the royal father, the Oba of Benin on the issue. But Counsel to the defendants, Mr. P. E. Uwadiae, said the judgement of the court has further validated the proclamation of the Benin monarch. Responding, to the verdict of the court, the Priest (Ohen) of Okhuoromi, Ovbokhan Igbinovia and Mrs. Caroline Igbinovia, women leader in Okhuoromi Village, as well as the Village head, Pa Oghagbon Edosomwan, hailed the verdict of the court and the Oba of Benin and promised to live in peace in their locality.

Okowa congratulates Okaba on his election as INC President By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

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overnor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated Professor Benjamin Okaba on his election as President of the Ijaw National Council (INC). Okaba, a genial scholar and Professor of Sociology at the Federal University, Otuoke, was pioneer Chairman, Governing Council of Delta State School of Marine Technology, Burutu. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor commended the INC for the peaceful process that characterised the election after several setbacks. He urged Professor Okaba to bring his wealth of experience to bear on his new to ensure the realisation of the vision of INC’s founding fathers. “On behalf my family, the government and people of Delta, i congratulate Professor Benjamin Ogele Okaba, on his well-deserved election as President of Ijaw National Congress (INC) on Saturday, April 30, 2021, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. “Your election and that of other members of the executive committee of the council is coming at a time when the apex organ of Ijaw nation needs a redirection and I am glad that this has been achieved in spite of all odds.”

FOMWAN appeals to Nigerian to help rehabilitate burnt school From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Foundation launches project to take 300 almajiris off street in Kano From Kano

I

Mustapha

Adamu,

n a bid to do away with the menace of street begging in Kano state, Al-Ummah Development Foundation (ADF) has launched a project, named Almajiri Intervention Pilot Project in the state. Speaking during the launch of the project, Technical Coordinator of the project, Ibrahim Waiya said the pilot project involved 300 almajiri boys in three towns, namely Wudil, Garo and Kabo in Wudil and Kabo Local Government areas respectively. According to him, the project, which has begun in April, would span up to the period of twelve months, adding that the beneficiaries were drawn from

three tsanagaya schools as 100 boys were selected from each of the schools. Waiya explained that the project was sponsored solely by the ADF, but did not rule out support from government, individuals and other Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs). “No fund from government. It is solely sponsored by Hajiya Zinat, the founder of the foundation. However, we call on other wealthy individuals to join the project in a bid to support it. We are hoping to expand the project if we see the outcome of this pilot one. “ We need to be resolute to do such projects. We should be reliant of government on everything. We need to do developmental projects

ourselves, that is why i said this program is solely sponsored by the ADF,” Waiya said. He explained that the almajiris that benefitted from the project had been given instructional materials such as books, bags, pens, pencils and study tablets, adding that they would no longer beg throughout the 12 month period as they would be given food three days daily. Waiya further stated that the selected almajiris would be taught vocational skills, adding that some grants would be awarded to them in a bid to make them self-reliant. “We are doing this project to discourage the primitive way of learning. We want to discourage street begging because it a bad practice that doe not contribute

to the societal development. “We are calling on governments to emulate this project in order to formalize tsangaya education. It is high time for government to declare stare of emergency on education in Kano state. “The government is not ready to end street begging because it has employed only one strategy, that is repatriation of the almajiris. This is counterproductive and stands to be condemnable. “If you want to stop street begging and formalize tsangaya system of education, you have to put robust and effective arrangements in place. Therefore, government needs to be serious about this issue,” he said.

F

ederation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) Kaduna state Chapter has called on well meaning Nigerians to help in rehabiliting the four classroom blocks, a staffroom and toilet destroyed by fire at its Model School in U/Sariki Kaduna. The State Amirah of FOMWAN Pharm. Aisha Isyaku Tukur made the assertion when she led members of the Association on palliatives distributions to some orphanages and hospitals in kaduna yesterday. According to her, the Association which is a non-profit making needed the Goodwill of Nigerians to rehabilitate the building before resumption of school activities. It will be recalled that a late evening fire outbreak on 13th April, 2021, destroyed four classroom blocks, a staffroom and toilet at the FOMWAN Model School U/Sariki in Kaduna North Local Goverment Area, NorthWest Nigeria.


PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

PAGE 10

News

Osinbajo cautions against secession calls in Nigeria By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

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he Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, cautioned proponents of secession in the country, advising them to drop such campaigns. According to Osinbajo who made the call while

inaugurating Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Marshal Inspectorate Training School, built by Delta State Government in Owa-Alero, Ika North East Local Government Area, Nigeria remains better as one united country. He said that Nigeria was a great nation notwithstanding

its diversity and current challenges, adding that Nigerians should harness the inherent benefits in the country to promote sustainable socio-economic growth and development. “To truly achieve this, Nigeria as a nation, must continue to promote justice,

equity and fairness among the diverse groups in the country. “We must caution those who are agitating for the break-up of the country against such agitation. It is important for our people to understand that the unity of this country must not be compromised,” Osinbajo said.

Cleric says lack of parental care bane of social vices in Nigeria From: Kaduna

A

Femi

Oyelola,

Lecturer at the Federal University Gusau, Mallam Yusha’u Jibril

has blamed the high rate of social vices and crime committed by the youths in the society on complete lack of parental care in the homes which translated to adverse multiplier effect on the

larger society. He made the assertion during the 26 Annual End of Ramadan Lecture organized by Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) in

kaduna yesterday. The Cleric noted that the parents have neglected their roles in the upbringing of their children, hence subjecting them to committing crimes.

He commended Delta State Government under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for building the training institute for the federal agency and said that such partnership between states and the Federal Government was needed to promote sustainable development in the country.

Niger women decries impact of insecurity on women, children

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apai Azza Women Development Association has raised alarm over the impact of the persistent bandits and Boko Haram attacks on communities in the country. The Chairperson of the association Amina Mohammad Gulu made this known at the weekend in an interview in Minna, however appealed to relevant authorities to quickly find a lasting solution to the current insecurity. She lamented that women in their numbers have been killed and raped while their children abducted causing untold hardship of any kind. Gulu stressed that the women group is passionate and called on the mother’s, wives, daughters and sisters from Lapai Azza extraction to join hands to encourage and support them for the growth and development of the movement.

Okowa mourns ex-minister Aisha Alhassan

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ov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has expressed condolence over the death of former Minister of Women Affairs, Sen. Aisha Alhassan. This is contained in a condolence massage signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Saturday in Asaba. Okowa said that the deceased was a

courageous and outspoken politician. He said that the late politician, who represented Taraba North in the senate from 2011 to 2015 was a great mobiliser of people, especially women. “I learnt of the passing of Sen. Aisha Alhassan with shock and disbelief. “She was my colleague at the senate from 2011 to 2015 and was a great

politician and patriotic Nigerian who also served the nation as Minister of Women Affairs between 2015 and 2018. “She will be remembered for her contributions to the Nigerian polity, particularly her advocacy and campaign on the empowerment of women and the challenges they face.

PAGE 11

Letter to the Editor

EDITORIAL

From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

Archbishop of the Catholic Arcdiocese of Abuja, Most Rev.Ignatius Kaigama (middle) flanked by the Communication Director, Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Rev Fr. Patrick Alumuku (right) and a member of the Catholic Media Practitioners, Mr. Law Mefor (left) during the Bishop state of the Nation World Press conference in commemoration of the 2021 world Communication day ceremony, held at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I extend my profound condolences to the Alhassan family, the people of Taraba North and the Peoples Democratic Party. “It is my prayer that God will comfort all those who mourn her exit, and make her good soul repose in His bosom,” Okowa said. (NAN)

Covid: Don’t recycle expired vaccines

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he World Health Organisation of them and wait for further guidance. (WHO) is weighing up allowing The WHO regional director said, African countries to use “We are encouraging countries to expired vaccines in the management prioritise the first dose to reach more of Covid-19. This is because African people rather than saving supplies countries are reporting shortages of for the second dose. It is imperative the AstraZeneca vaccine. WHO says that the available doses are used as it will this week consult Indian health quickly as possible to protect people authorities to determine if expired from severe disease and death due to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be Covid-19.” used in countries like Nigeria which The issue of unequal access came up benefit from its COVAX facility. soon after pharmaceutical companies WHO Director for Africa, Dr. in Europe and America announced Matshidiso Moeti, stated this during they had begun rolling out Covid-19 an interview with select journalists vaccines with a claim of over 90 percent penultimate Thursday. The idea, it efficacy against certain variants of was learnt, had been discussed with all the Corona virus. The WHO was very ministers of health in Africa including vocal calling for equitable distribution Nigeria’s Health Minister, of the drugs. This has Dr. Osagie. The move, it not happened. The was learnt, had become richer western world necessary due to the scarcity has cornered greater of AstraZeneca vaccine amounts of the vaccines The richer caused by the recent surge in to the detriment of Covid-19 infections in India western world poorer countries, most which is the manufacturer has cornered of them in Africa. of the vaccine. However, we do Moeti said, “On Tuesday greater amounts not support recycling I met with ministers in the of the vaccines of expired vaccines African region to discuss key to the detriment to solve the shortage issues, particularly around problem in Africa. Yes, of poorer expiring doses, supply Covid-19 is a serious shortages, vaccine safety countries, most public health challenge and misinformation. The of them in Africa in particularly Africa WHO is awaiting additional whose health systems stability data from the are very weak. But Serum Institute of India to determine we do not think a resort to expired if the shelf life of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines will be a solution to the doses can be extended from six months problem for exactly the same reasons to nine months. For doses that have that the WHO has given for delaying a already expired, the WHO is looking decision on the matter. Africa should closely at the regulatory, scientific, not be turned into a dumping ground logistical and problematic challenges for vaccines that have expired. The and will issue a statement next week AstraZeneca vaccine is said to have led (last week).” to blood clotting in some people who The BBC had reported two weeks have received the jabs in the United before now that many vaccines States. Just imagine what further could be used up to 36 months after damage an expired vaccine will do! manufacture, but because Covid-19 The WHO can help by underwriting jabs are relatively new, there is part of the cost of the vaccine for not enough data to prove their African countries. In the longer run, effectiveness over longer periods. those nations with the financial, It noted that the WHO had in April scientific and technological capacities urged African countries not to destroy should explore the possibility of Covid-19 vaccines that might have producing Covid-19 vaccines of their passed their expiry date but keep hold own.

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GBB and Nigeria’s digital transformation By Bashir Ibrahim Hassan

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combination of factors played out in the last two years to enhance the success of Nigeria’s journey in digital transformation. These factors include natural occurrences and the vision and industry of a number of people. While the COVID-19 pandemic has traumatized the world’s population and ravaged economics at all levels, it has had its silver lining in the ways it has challenged human intellect, buttressing the truism in the adage that “necessity is the mother of invention”. Well, COVID-19 wasn’t the trigger of Zoom, the video/audio conferencing technology that has enlisted about 20 billion users since it was developed by Eric Yuan and came to blossom in 2020. But Nigeria has been one country where its success story has been most eloquent, thanks to the vision of Muhammad Bello Abubakar, the Chief Executive of Nigeria’s Galaxy Backbone (GBB). When the Nigerian system in all its ramifications – economic, political and social – was on the verge of total collapse as a result of the lockdown compelled by the pandemic, Abubakar came to the nation’s recue by deploying his skills and those of his team at GBB to virtually get back to sessions of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings to take crucial decisions. This is more remarkable considering that the man only assumed office in January 2020 as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Backbone, Nigeria’s digital infrastructure and shared services provider, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. The professor of Petroleum Geosciences with over two decades of working experience spanning academia, oil and gas exploration research, development and innovation institutions is a veritable strategic thinker with strong leadership and management skills. He has an impressive exposure to global best practice in the field of energy. He has been working assiduously to implement the two policy frameworks guiding the mandate of his agency — the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) and Nigeria National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) launched in November 2019 and March 2020 respectively for the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy by Mr. President. The twin policies were coupled to accelerate growth and modernization of the Nigerian economy. The two policies provided the framework for digital-led growth strategy for the Nigerian economy. GBB is currently preoccupied with operating an IT-based network that provides network connectivity to MDAs of government, saving government cost of maintenance and securing and protecting its data. Prof. Abubakar has an even more ambitious vision of taking the GBB to a higher level; the level where the GBB can be the primary enabler to all ICT providers in Nigeria and Africa, especially West Africa, in the long term. The direction of where GBB is headed under Prof. can be discerned from the transformation that took root since he assumed office through re-branding the agency. The Gombe-born and alumnus of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, achieved this by establishing new departments that focused more sharply on implementing the mandate of the agency. Three such departments stand out. First is the Research, Digital Innovation and Skills Department introduced to fast-track the research innovation and also skill aspects of the digital economy policy. This is in line with the 8 pillars of digital economy policy document. The second pillar of that policy addresses digital literacy and skills issues. Second one is the Enterprise Business Group, which focuses mainly on the private sector to make sure that they are provided the necessary platform that will make their turnover continue to strive better and of course generate handsome revenue for the Federal Government. Third one is National Policy, Strategic and Mandate Project Unit, which specifically looks at the policies and

how to translate them into what GBB can offer by way of services. The journey towards digitally transforming a nation goes way beyond the Infrastructure and application. What we have seen in Galaxy Backbone in the last couple of months has been a direct and intentional attempt at building the skills of people to ensure these Digital Infrastructure is managed properly, enhanced and consistently delivers on its promise which hinges more on people. The Research, Digital Innovation & Skills Development Department is an outstanding development brought into Galaxy Backbone by the current Managing Director & Chief Executive, Professor Muhammad Bello Abubakar. It is a visionary attempt at ensuring that GBB attains its vision; ‘To be the leading enabler of digital inclusion in Africa’. Professor Abubakar identified that a deeper focus must be given to Research and Innovation if GBB can attain this desired height. The result of creating this department is gradually yielding measurable results as Galaxy Backbone recently published its first ever Training Brochure for the year in the history of the organization. Training and Skills development both contribute towards Capacity development that is essential for digital transformation in any nation and in the context of Nigeria, strengthens Pillar two of the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy for A Digital Nigeria being championed by the Honorable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. This pillar speaks to the need to grow Digital Literacy and Skills amongst its citizens with the clear conviction that in this journey of developing a digital nation, people are the greatest asset so it’s important to develop a large pool of digitally literate and skilled citizens. In the same vain, the creation of this first ever GBB Training Calendar addresses; Improved capability & capacity which is one of the six Pillars of Galaxy Backbone’s five year (2021 -2025) growth plan designed under the leadership of Prof. M.B. Abubakar. The designing of this training document is meant to ensure stakeholders, customers and young Nigerians looking at growing their digital skills are well equipped with technical & digital transformation tools that will help them contribute valuably to their organizations and by extension deepen the digital implementation development of the nation. Courses from, Cyber & Information Security, Mobile Applications Development, Network Connectivity & Infrastructure to Emerging Technologies, Business Process Management, Information Technology Systems & Networks, IT Architecture Management & Governance and a lot more have been put together by Galaxy Backbone and its team of Local & International Partners to ensure those trained by Galaxy Backbone receive the very best and are certified in their identified areas of specialty. One of the most profound values GBB brings to these trainings as the digital Infrastructure & shared service provider to public and private organization is its hands on experience in these identified courses. So, real life scenarios will be shared during these trainings so that attendees are not just equipped theoretically, but get to have firsthand experience from Technical Experts who have implemented those services locally and internationally. GBB is looking to partner with organizations and other training platforms to ensure Nigerians get the best of learning during these training activities. The team at GBB dedicated to this includes Experienced Network Engineers, Project Management Experts, IT Consultants & Technical Experts who have implemented high end projects and consulted at different levels. GBB has a world class Network Operations Centre, the only Uptime Certified Tier III Data Centre, in the Federal Capital Territory and for business continuity purposes, a Disaster Recovery Data Centre situated in Enugu. This entire Infrastructure is open to private and public corporations. Hassan wrote in from Abuja


PAGE 12

Opinion

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Unifying the great rivers of Niger and Benue By Femi Kawonise

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Nigeria united as one would be one of the most formidable forces the world has ever known. Appreciating or conceptualising this would cast to mind the cataclysmic events that ensued in the Roman empire which spelt the beginning of the end of the great Roman civilisation. Right before the Roman Empire had a downward decline they had always thrived by making sure the border tribes were never united. They kept this stratagem by sowing seeds of distrust and discontent between the border tribes (destroying the only thing that could make the borders unify and become stronger). That ignoble seed the Romans sowed always worked, until Fritigern (a single man) observed this phenomenon and using his influence as a local gothic chieftain, united the tribes of the goths and the Alans against the Romans. The result of this coalition was disastrous for the Romans, as the battle that ensued took the life of a Roman emperor which was the second time in the history of the Roman Empire that this ever occurred. The Roman Empire had to make concessions to Fritigern. Same way, if Nigeria is united as we’ve been in time past, we would grow strong and no elite or individual will be able to sow seeds of discord among us Nigerians. We will become the ubermensch, unable to be brought down by any external or internal force. As we are now glaringly uncovering, the game plan by the super elite is to sow seeds of discord so we the masses are not powerful enough to

take the initiative. This tactic has been the work of deleterious men masking themselves as Nigerian patriots who we know are the super rich politically classed elite. They have decided to give our reality a false hope and a frail existence under In order to keep our minds in despair. They want us thinking about our kids and whether they would live in fear and better traumatised about how the future of Nigeria would be. I know for a fact that Nigeria is not merely a geographical location; Nigeria is Nigeria because of the peoples that coexist in it, and that is our reality. Our future is in jeopardy if we do not protect the innocence and mental health of our reality and accepting same. Our reality is clearly pregnant of being totally unified. We’ve lived as one in Nigeria for more than a century. Which European country can boast of such feat with so much ethnic diversity? Even the Europeans that speak the same language and have the same culture war against each other and are not half as united as we are. The morality of the average Nigerian has been eroded, and this is as a result of the games the elite and ruling class are playing. Using its citizens as pawns to achieve their own selfish ends. I looked at our founding fathers and I saw the qualities that made them great, which is what the present leadership lacks. The primal qualities I found in those great leaders are: And without these qualities, which I know we mostly possess, Nigeria would be in a steady state of decline till the Nigeria we once knew is no more. If you look at

all of history, most great empires are brought to their knees from within. It usually starts with a little decadence, ignoring just one of the values founding fathers bequeathed unto the people. And the rot begins, just like a toad which is in a pool of cold water not realising that the pool is heating up gradually till it gets to the boiling point. At that point, it is too late for the toad to jump out and it eventually dies in the pool of hot boiling water. To avert that sort of calamity, we have to rediscover our morals and thread the path our founding fathers took. I often hear that the northern part of Nigeria is the problem. Any one that makes this statement can’t be blamed because it is a misjudgment of the character of the north. The northern masses as part of their culture are loyal people, of which quality has shown throughout our history from the great legacies of Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa and so on. I greatly admire in them their loyalty to the cause of Nigeria and bonding to their ruling class and elite. Just like during the Nazi era, the Germans’ loyalty was to Hitler, and the world was not surprised when the citizens played the dictates of his will. Northerners exert the will of the rulling class but this has never been the problem. Do you see where I’m going with this? If the northern elite have a good heart and love for their people, most definitely you will see the trickle down effect on the masses. But as we can see time and time again they have a sinister heart, and of course those loyal to these so called northern elite would bring that evil idea to reality. So you see the problem of the north is not as complicated, the problem

resides with just a few individuals trying to cause mayhem. The present day Nigeria is advantaged with the bliss of population and diversity. This advantage as radiant as it views, is callously being dismembered by the petty little talks of secession and division. The advantage our country bears to an ordinary entrepreneur is gloated with immeasurable opportunities, the individual is gilded with the warmth that he has access to a teeming customer base, and such individual works hard to put it to fruition. The United Kingdom’s economy with all its human intellectual prowess and historical antecedents cannot be ranked with economies like that of the United States and other populated countries. In a little perspective, products and services exported from the United States are first consumed and utilised by its citizens even much before such product or service is exported to other nations. In any case from all available case studies, there has never been any country that has seceded that benefitted more from the division. In context, the recent Czechoslovakian split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, was a prime example that showcased a sharp plummet in both countries’ GDP. Population size as we all know has always been incredibly low for advanced European countries. A feign theory would have it that if these european countries had stayed together and worked out their differences they would be stronger collectively as one, and even be a greater European power. But now any major economic activity in those regions don’t

really affect the status quo on the international stage. We as humans have always let petty issues prevent us from forging a way to work out existing issues. Painting a picture, using Nigeria as the case study, if Nigeria secedes into the three geo-political zones, It is expected that within a matter of years which may not even reach a decade, these geopolitical zones will start to feel the winds of discontent blow from spilt factions. From personal experience this phenomenon has played out severally. In the West, there has been this not-so-muted discontent amongst other Southwest states, that Ogun State has produced most of the political leaders that ruled the region and the larger national entity as Premier, Presidents, Vice President and Speaker of House of Representatives. The current Vice President hails from the west is from Ogun State. Also on another level of abstraction, within Ogun state there is agitation that there has never been a governor produced by the Yewa zone of the State. What is obvious here is that the human nature has never been satisfied, internal contradictions that are fiercer than exogenous ones will still play out no matter the setting of the polity at play. If we as Nigerians can rise above this base human instinct, we will truly become the master Nation. No one tribe or region is the problem, just as incompetence does not have race, tribe or skin color and any individual’s machination dividing us along these tribal lines are out for their selfish gains and not for betterment of the people. Femi Kawonise, a software engineer, wrote from Abuja

By He Yin

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he recently concluded May Day holiday in China, which lasted from May 1 to 5, witnessed an estimated total of 267 million passenger trips, with the average daily passenger trips exceeding 53.47 million, up 122.2 percent year on year, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Transport (MOT). On May 1, railways in China handled a record high of nearly 18.83 million passengers, 9.2 percent more than the pre-pandemic level during the same period in 2019. Data released by the China Film Administration showed that the box office revenue on the Chinese mainland surpassed 1.6 billion yuan (about $247.2 million) from May 1 to 17 p.m. on May 5, a new record for the total box office revenue on the Chinese mainland during the holiday. In addition, the concentrated release of consumer demand online drove rapid growth in the business of China’s express delivery sector. Postal and courier companies across the country delivered a total of 260 million parcels on May 1, which marked an approximately 30-percent year-on-year growth rate.

Such highlights of China’s consumer market during this year’s May Day holiday, which were based on effective control and prevention of the COVID-19, have drawn worldwide attention. “Tickets for everything from domestic flights to theme parks are rapidly selling out in China ahead of its Labor Day holiday as the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic gathers pace,” the Bloomberg News said in a report published on April 28. China Labour Day travel rush gives glimpse of life after COVID-19, wrote Agence France-Presse (AFP) in a report released on May 1. Mass vaccinations in China have boosted confidence about travel, observed the Associated Press (AP) in a report published on May 1. The continuous recovery in China’s consumer market has demonstrated the strong vitality and vigor of the Chinese economy and injected confidence and hope into the recovery of the global economy. Consumption is considered as the “ballast stone” for the stable performance of the Chinese economy and the major engine for the country’s economic growth. Since the beginning of this year,

China’s consumer market has shown evident signs of recovery as life and production in the country quickly return to normal. In the first quarter of this year, China’s retail sales rose 33.9 percent year on year to more than 10.52 trillion yuan, which represented an 8.5-percent growth from the same period in 2019 and a 1.86-percent growth from the fourth quarter of last year. Household consumption is expected to play a bigger role in driving economic growth in China this year, pointed out an article published on the Financial Times. Market is regarded as the scarcest resource in today’s world. China boasts the great advantage of a super-large domestic market with 1.4 billion people including more than 400 million people belonging to the middle-income group, which is also believed to be an opportunity for common development in the world. The continued consumer enthusiasm in China’s domestic market was called a heartening signal to the world by international observers. The latest data released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

(OECD) indicated that China was the largest destination for foreign direct investment in 2020. China’s continued economic growth has provided good business opportunities for German companies, according to Christina Otte, an expert on China affairs at the Germany Trade and Investment. “If your company isn’t investing heavily in China, it’ll be too late to catch up,” wrote a foreign Internet user named Shaun Rein in an online post. Rein described in the post that tourism in China is roaring and he hasn’t been able to book a hotel he wanted for the May Day holiday. The flourishing consumer market in holidays is a mirror of China’s market vitality. After the May Day holiday, a number of grand events designed to smoothen the domestic and international circulation and promote win-win cooperation between China and various countries will be held in the country. The first China International Consumer Products Expo is slated to take place from May 7 to 10 in Haikou, capital of south China’s Hainan province. The event is expected to bring together more than 2,500 brands from 69 countries and regions.

The 2021 China Brand Day events are scheduled in east China’s Shanghai from May 10 to 12 under the theme of “China Brand, Global Sharing; Focusing on Dual Circulation, Leading New Consumption.” It has become a common choice for various countries to gather in the Chinese market and share China’s opportunities for development. China is quickening its steps to build a new development paradigm featuring dual circulation, in which domestic and overseas markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay. Under the new development paradigm, consumption is expected to serve as a more important driving force for economic growth. It’s believed that the vibrant Chinese market is bound to become a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all. Looking into the post-pandemic era, the Chinese market is right an important opportunity for global economic recovery. He Yin is an Int’l Affairs Analyst.

Comment

Inadvisability of blaming unpleasant message-bearer By Isaac Asabor

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f there is any quote that unarguably finds expression in the imbroglio between the spiritual director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, it is unarguably the one authored by Ken Starr that says, “Don’t blame the messenger because the message is unpleasant”. I must confess that the quote formed the basis of the coinage of the headline of this piece. In fact, the diversionary tactics of blaming the messenger because the message is unpleasant is replicated in a philosophical argument called Ad hominem. It is a logical fallacy that involves a personal attack: an argument based on the perceived failings of an adversary rather than on the merits of the case. In short, it is when someone’s rebuttal to an opponent’s position is an irrelevant attack on the opponent personally rather than the subject at hand, to discredit the position by discrediting its supporter. It literarily translates to “against the man.” Using an ad hominem fallacy pulls the public’s attention off the real issue and serves only as a distraction. In some contexts it is unethical. It is also called argumentum ad hominem, abusive ad hominem, poisoning the well, ad personam, and mudslinging. The attacks serve as red herrings to try to discredit or blunt the opponent’s argument or

make the public ignore it, it is not just a personal attack but one stated as a counterattack to the position. As not few literate Nigerians that are abreast with current affairs about Nigeria are aware, Mbaka called for the president’s impeachment over his failure to protect Nigerians from killers, armed bandits, terrorists and armed Fulani militia, and by that unarguably provoked Shehu, who in a statement, accused Mbaka of asking Buhari for a contract and saying that the president’s refusal led to such a call. However, since the tantrums transpired between them, not few Nigerians were of the view that Shehu did not respond in such a way that would have given him the opportunity to tell the world how the president is tackling surging level of insecurity across the country. He no doubt bungled the opportunity. Not few people agreed that that is what he ought to have done as a presidential spokesperson. They were unanimous in their views that he left the message, and resorted to attacking the messenger. The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a frontline advocacy group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf accused Shehu of cheapening and rubbishing the dignity of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by converting it to a centre for political blackmail and religious bigotry. “The media statement against

Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka has totally eroded the integrity and honour of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and may need a wide range of political exorcism to restore the lost glory, prestige and dignity of that high office. “This religious bigot called President Muhammadu Buhari gave all the juicy posts in the ministry of education such as that of JAMB to Moslem Clerics but is quick to divulge private discussions he had with a Christian Pastor because as an Islamic bigot, damaging the Christian brand is another kind of Jihad. The President is using the office of the President of Nigeria to launch a Jihad against Fr. Mbaka and by extension the Christian faith”. Mr. Carl Umegboro, a public analyst, who wrote in a National Daily few days ago said, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s government retorted recklessly to the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, through a press statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity) a moment ago. Such a rejoinder when the nation is under a siege with bloods of innocent citizens being wasted on daily basis across the states, and sadly with impunity leaves much to be desired of a government. He added, “Mbaka, a hitherto supporter of Buhari right from campaign for the first term, but recently embittered over the state of the nation, openly expressed his

disappointment and demanded for his resignation or impeachment by the National Assembly. Unfortunately, the Presidency went out of control linking his disappointment to contracts deals he solicited unsuccessfully as a reward for his support. Honestly, the stinker from the hallowed office of the President against a clarion call for the government to sit up and face its responsibilities diligently is, to say the least, unfortunate. The presidency goofed. Against the backdrop of his view, he queried, “By the way, what is wrong if the clergy introduced contractors to the government for patronage which is the pattern, not only in the country but beyond the shores of the country. Did the clergy ask the presidency to move public funds to his account? It would have been a different ballgame if the clergy demanded for money for his supports and prayers. But it is not the case but introduction of some persons known to him for patronages. The duty to direct them to the appropriate quarters accordingly for laid down procedures lies with the presidency”. Mr. Yushau A. Shuaib, a Public Relations practitioner no less agreed in a widely publicized features titled, “PR Wise: The Presidency, Pantami and Mbaka” that the president’s spokesperson bungled the opportunity that is inherent in Mbaka’s criticism to explain how far the government is fighting insecurity. He wrote, “I was not only alarmed

but I have been deeply concerned about some recent statements by the Presidency, particularly through its spokespersons, Mr. Femi Adesina and Mallam Garba Shehu, who have both incidentally served as Presidents of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) in the recent past. Some of their reactive statements to issues could essentially be described as journalistic, for the predilection towards making news headlines, and these have been quite disturbingly below the standards of PR, which tend towards demonstrating empathy, employing diplomacy and forestalling the attrition of relationships, when responding to issues of deep concern”. It is expedient to say at this juncture that in as much as it is glaring that Shehu, who is reputed to have been combatively and defensively representing his boss with unflinching loyalty and utmost dedication, and has been doing almost everything humanely possible to defend him and his administration; even if he had to lie, contradicting himself at times, consciences and moral sensitivity demand that he should do his job professionally as his job is not for eternity; it must surely come to an end one day. Simply put, he should remember that there is tomorrow. To my view, he should respond to the issues raised by Mbaka, and eschew attacking his person. Who cares if he once asked for contract from the presidency? Isaac Asabor is a Public Affairs Analyst.

Patterning Africa after India’s IT Boom By Anthony Ademiluyi

Flourishing consumer market during May Day holiday manifests exuberant vitality of Chinese economy

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ndia was in a mess in the early 1990’s due to her decades of the pursuit of socialism which had become a clog in the wheel of her economic growth and development. Manhomman Singh, an Oxford and Cambridge trained economist took up the daunting challenge of re-directing India to the path of prosperity powered by the ideals of a free market economy. He devalued the rupee; privatized state owned enterprises and massively encouraged foreign direct investments. What he did not envisage for was the fact that the country of 1.2 billion people will be the world’s greatest beneficiary of information technology outsourcing. It is the country with the highest number of English speakers worldwide – greater than the United States and United Kingdom combined. The vision of Singh paved the way for the great wealth transfer in the world’s second most populous nation on earth. India is unmatched when it comes to its large pool of skilled and talented human resources. It has 3.1 million skilled graduated added to its workforce annually and it saves western multinationals a great deal of money to hire Indian workers whom they do not even have to physically meet. It costs an average of $50 to $100 an hour to contract

the services of a good developer. A competent Indian will be happy to receive $15 an hour for an equally if not a better job. The infrastructure in India is well positioned to take full advantage of the outsourcing trend – a gain of globalization. She boasts of stateof-art telecommunication services, super swift internet connectivity, submarine cables, massive bandwidth in all the major cities and fibre optic cables. The public policy thrust is geared towards providing stable and attractive information technology policies. IT is regarded as one of the top five priority areas in the country with tax breaks offered to IT firms to attract such services in call centre, date entry, transcription, engineering, software development, finance/accounting, photo editing services and web analytics and the revenue that accrues to the country is estimated at $69 billion annually. India, a hitherto third world nation has been able to pull itself by the bootstraps and lift millions out of the debilitating scourge of dire poverty by tapping into the goldmine of IT outsourcing. It is a well-known fact that the world has transited from the industrial age to that of information. Many African nations are now facing the realities of this without being adequately prepared to respond to it. Natural resources such as gold, cocoa, oil, diamonds etc now have their prices subject to

the cruel vagaries of the international market and the ‘dark continent’ is at the receiving end as new alternatives to them have massively cut down their demand leaving the nations impoverished. Information Technology is the fastest way to wealth. Some examples will suffice. It took Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive of Facebook three years to become a dollar denominated billionaire. It would have been two if he had accepted the offer from Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp to acquire his novel innovation for $1 billion in 2006. Not only is he the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, he is the fastest as his feat is still so surreal. Jan Kuom and Brian Acton who co-founded whatapp had their acquisition snapped up by facebook for $19.5 billion. Ironically, they sought jobs in the latter and were turned down. The likes of Jerry Yand and David Filo of Yahoo, Larry Page and Sergin Brin of Google, Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft, Larry Ellison of Oracle etc made their mind boggling fortunes from it in far less time than it took the so called oil barons and natural resources merchants. If we are to solve the perennial crisis of unemployment, IT is the way to go as the opportunities for self-reliance inherent in it is endless and this is the new mantra being sung even in the developed

world where many African youths dream of escaping to as the demands of the new age is titled towards selfemployment. Africa is plagued by daunting challenges such as the dearth of physical infrastructure, economic/ political instability, poor security, lack of in-demand skills by the so called tertiary education graduates, corruption and poor regulation by the government. These challenges have to be sturdily addressed backed by an IT driven policy that would enable the continent tap from the gains of globalization via IT outsourcing and stop being a perpetually dependent continent. Ghana seems to have taken the cue as their leaders are concerned with the drastically falling prices of gold and cocoa – their two major economic mainstays and coupled with the fact that the prices of crude oil have fallen in the global market. The visionary former President John Agyekum Kuffour initiated a partnership project between India and Ghana and invested $5 million on a youth driven ICT project. It converted offices belonging to the State Housing Corporation for the project which will be sited in all the ten regional capitals. The current President, John Mahama continued the vision when he unveiled a three year plan to build an IT hub at the cost of $10 billion. This project will employ 50,000

people and house a further 25,000. Kenya followed suit by revealing a plan in 2013 to build an African Silicon Valley within the next 20 years at the cost of $14.5 billion. It is instructive to note that 40,000 Kenyans are on Elance – the online service that enables professionals sell themselves and attract a fee for their time. This is a step in the right direction as outsourcing has come to stay and Africa should not be left behind. There should be a vigorous agenda by the respective governments to ensure that we overtake Latin America and Eastern Europe which is now the focus of IT outsourcing as companies want to play India against them to get the best deals. We should transit from being a mere dumping ground to partners in progress. The Japan miracle after the battering as a result of the second world war was possible because of the nationalist sentiments orchestrated by the government which made their citizens come back home after tapping from the American wisdom. In this era, there is no need to even go across the Atlantic. All that is needed is the political will to ensure that African citizens are well positioned to get the best deals from the comfort of their homes so as to avoid the second slavery. Anthony Ademiluyi writes in from Lagos.


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News

Alhassan’s death, a monumental loss to Nigerian women – Tallen T

he Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has described the demise of Aisha Jummai AlHassan as a monumental loss to the nation. Tallen Alsaid this in a statement signed by the ministry’s Director of Press, Mr Odutayo Oluseyi, on Saturday in Abuja. The minister expressed shock at the death in Egypt of the former Minister of Women

Affairs, fondly addressed as ‘Mama Taraba’. “The death of Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan is a monumental loss to the nation and womenfolk in particular,” she said. Tallen described her late predecessor as an “accomplished civil servant, an astute politician and a patriot, who as minister of women affairs, contributed immensely towards the social and political emancipation of women in Nigeria.”

She urged her family to take solace in the fact that the late AlHassan lived a life of service to humanity and prayed that God would grant rest her soul. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late AlHassan, who died at the age of 61, was appointed minister of women affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. She, however, resigned her position in July 2018 to run as governorship candidate in the

2019 gubernatorial elections under the United Democratic Party (UDP). She, however, lost to the incumbent Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku, who ran for a second term in office under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Prior to her ministerial appointment, Al-Hassan was a Senator on the platform of the PDP representing the Taraba North Senatorial District.

The members of Journalists Against Polio (JAP) at the resident of Sheikh Usman Bauchi to break fast with Sheikh Usman Bauchi in Kaduna yesterday. Photo: Shehu K. Goro

Odibo warns against population explosion in Nigeria By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

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he Federal Commissioner representing Delta State at the National Population Commission (NPC), Sir Richard Odibo, has warned against population explosion in Nigeria. The population expert gave the warning in an exclusive interaction with

our correspondent at his Ekpan residence in Uvwie Local Government area at the weekend. He warned that if Nigeria’s rate of population growth was not properly managed, Nigerians would be faced with hunger and starvation in the next 30 years. Odibo admonished that

climate change had adversely affected farm lands globally and therefore stressed the need to have a population that can depend on farming. To this end, he called for sex education of the girl-child as to the usage of contraceptives in the course of managing Nigeria’s population. He also advised that the

girl child should be groomed to provide assistance in the welfare of the household and not to wholly depend on her husband. The Delta State representative at NPC also expressed concern on having youths that were not meaningfully engaged, as he warned that such youths would become snare to the society in the future.

Delta HOS dIspels workers’ casualisation allegation By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

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elta State Head of Service, HoS, Mr Reginald Bayoko has dispelled allegation of casualization of workers, saying casualization of workers has since been abolished in the state. The HoS made this known when the state chairman and other executive members of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday at Asaba. Bayoko was responding to a request by the medical practitioners for the absorption of casual medical doctors, allegedly working with the State Hospital Management Board (HMB). He debunked the casualization claim and explained that the medical doctors the group was referring to as casual workers were actually volunteers who willingly rendered their services to the state and humanity. While acknowledging the services of the volunteers for their contributions to the state, the head of service disclosed that the state government had reciprocated the gesture by giving some of the volunteers’ permanent appointments. He stated that the gesture was part of efforts to appreciate them and boost the manpower needs of state government hospitals. Responding to other issues affecting the welfare of the association’s members the HoS promised to personally take up some of the issues even as he clarifiedthat the rationale for the embargo in the payment of promotion arrears to workers. Bayoko, while describing healthcare workers as very important to society, congratulated the executives of the association on its election into office by members to pilot the affairs of the body. He reminded the association to sensitize their members on the need to always fill and submit their annual performance evaluation report (APER) as requirements for consideration for promotion.

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Supreme Court judgement: IPAC asks deregistered parties to join 18 existing platforms By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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he Inter Parties Advisory Council (IPAC) has commended as landmark the recent judgment of the Supreme Court, which upheld the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) power to deregister political parties, even as it urged the 74 parties deregistered by the commission on to work with the current 18 parties for sustainable democracy in Nigeria having exhausted the full circle of jurisprudence. In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of IPAC, Agbo Major, the Council also commended the speed in determining and delivering judgement on the matter which it said obviously was a clog on the wheel of preparations for the 2023 general elections. It expressed hope that with this judgement, the coast is clear for the eighteen registered political parties to earnestly commence preparations for the upcoming elections, adding that Nigerians now know the options available for them as the country moves towards the elections. The statement said “This landmark judgment, no doubt has further enriched our legal system and deepened our emerging democracy. “IPAC commended the leaders of the 74 deregistered political parties for towing the path of honour in seeking redress in court which is the temple of justice and last hope of all aggrieved people, and urged them to accept the judgment of the apex court with equanimity and join political forces with their brothers and sisters in the 18 parties in redirecting the ship of the Nigeria state from its perilous course. “Council said the political upheavals in the country demand the collective efforts of all Nigerians in surmounting them and make Nigeria great again. “The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili dismissed the appeal seeking to upturn INEC’s power to deregister political parties filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) on behalf of the affected political parties. “In its judgment delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, the apex court held that INEC acted within the law and in compliance with extant provisions of the Electoral Act and Section 225(a) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended which empowered it to deregister any political party that failed to meet the statutory requirements of its registration”, the statement said.

Shehu Sani: Igbos systematically marginalized since civil war By Musa Baba Adamu

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hehu Sani, former senator representing Kaduna central, has said the Igbos have been systematically marginalised since the civil war. Speaking in Kaduna at a meeting organised by the Association of EzeNdigbo in Diaspora on Saturday, Sani described the marginalisation as a “collective punishment”. The civil war took place between 1967 and 1970. The former senator said the injustice faced by the Igbos affects them in terms of how they are

represented in politics. “There has been a systemic exclusion and marginalisation of your people, stemming from the historical Biafra war — this is a collective punishment,” he said. While recalling how Faruq Altine, a Fulani man, was elected a mayor in the south-east shortly before the beginning of the war, Sani said the Igbo have proven themselves to be patriotic Nigerians. “That act alone (appointment of a Fulani man as mayor) sends a message to Nigeria that whatever happens subsequently is not the fault of Igbos,” he said.

“Today, Igbos are being seen as unNigerian, unpatriotic, forgetting the feat Altine achieved in the region. “Most of those who want to divide this country aren’t picking their reasons from the sky. They are building their reasons on injustice and inequity meted to them. The only way to defeat a secessionist who doesn’t believe in one Nigeria is by giving justice to them. “Each time we have a government, they give juicy positions to other tribes, excluding the Igbos. When you exclude an Igbo man from appointment, you are proving those who don’t believe in one Nigeria

right. “Since the end of the civil war, Igbo have been distrusted and regarded as unfaithful and unpatriotic Nigerians. The violence going on in the country is capable of thwarting the stability and peace of the country.” The former lawmaker added that rotation of power in 2023 is what can guarantee peace. “There can’t be peace and stability when positions in government become hereditary,” Sani said. “As we move towards 2023, rotation of power is key to peace and unity. L-R; Head, Biosecurity Department, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr.Agha Ukpai Agha, Director, Administration and Finance NBMA, Dr. Rebecca Oamen , Director General, NBMA, Dr. Rufus Ebegba and the Head, Biosafety enforcement and Operation , Hauwa Tahir Ahmed, during NBMA press briefing on the safety of GMO product in Nigerian. held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

APC chieftain cautions against second civil war in Nigeria By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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frontline All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairmanship aspirant, Salihu Mustapha, has cautioned against statements capable of plunging Nigeria into another civil war, saying violence is no respecter of religion or tribe. He said a united Nigeria should be the concern of all to enable the country conduct a successful transition in 2023. Both charges were contained in a statement issued yesterday by Mustapha, a former Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC). “I condemn the attempt by some groups and persons to politicize our security challenges. As Nigerians, we should learn from the ethnic crisis in Rwanda and elsewhere. Violence has never solved any country’s problems,” noted Mustapha. He urged Nigerians to reflect on Vice President Yemi Oshibajo’s

observations after sighting a Justice of the Supreme Court of Rwanda queuing for food ration in a refugee camp. “War or violence does not recognize religion or tribe. It is a consuming fire. It is not respecter of any body - the poor or rich; old or young,” reminded the party chieftain. Further observed Mustapha, “Unfortunate as the level of insecurity may be, politicians, persons and groups should be careful not to overheat the system. We should bear in mind that no nation survives a civil war twice. Let’s join hands with the present administration to find a lasting solution to the problems which predates this administration”. He added, “Nigerians who were born after the Civil war should learn lessons from Rwanda in 1994. War is bad, war is evil. Let us be properly guided..He that rushes to war or advocates war, should know that war brings death and destruction.” The APC leading national chairmanship aspirant called on

Nigerians to always canvass and preach peace and a united Nigeria, saying “this is the time for all lovers of peace and continued existence of Nigeria to speak out.” He appealed to the chairman of the National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar to step in with other elders to calm the tension in the land. “I am calling of the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led peace committee to rally senior citizens to talk and Forster peace. 2023 would be an illusion without peace and a united Nigeria”, he stated. Mustapha described recent happenings in Nigeria as a carryover of the crisis inherited by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. “This insecurity is occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency is an inherited crisis and therefore should be tackled with all sense of responsibility by all Nigerians”, he explained. . He appealed for discretion in the

criticisms of security agencies, stating that members of the Armed Forces are paying the supreme sacrifice in the overall interest of a united Nigeria. “We should support our Armed Forces for the sacrifices that they are making for the nation. They are laying their lives for unity of Nigeria. Terrorism is a global affair and therefore all hands must be on deck to address it” he stressed. He advised advocates of State Police to take advantage of the ongoing constitution amendment at the National Assembly to state their position. “Advocates of state police should take their advocacy to the National Assembly, especially now that there is an on going constitutional amendment committee. “Nigeria is a democracy and therefore Nigerians should not behave as we are in a military government. Due process must always take it’s due place in all we do”, declared Mustapha.


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POLITICS

Medical Director, Federal Medical Center (FMC) Jabi, Prof Sa’ad Ahmed (middle), the representative of the Director General Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC)_ Dr Chinwe Ochu (middle) with the cross section of other participants during the 2021 world Hand Hygiene day celebration, held yesterday in Abuja.. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo.

Oyo LG: S/Court judgement affirms Makinde’s extravagance – Ex-SSG By Christiana Ekpa

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former Secretary to Oyo State Government, Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, has claimed that yesterday’s Supreme Court judgement is an affirmation that Governor Seyi Makinde is spending the State’s money extravagantly. Recall that the Supreme Court had Friday declared the removal of local government chairmen who were elected during the tenure of immediate past Governor, late Abiola Ajimobi, in 2018 as null and void. The Court urged Makinde to

without wasting more time, pay all entitlements of the sacked council bosses, including salaries and allowances. The Court also awarded a sum of twenty million naira (N20M) against the state government under Makinde. Alli, in a statement made available to journàlists, maintained that the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement was a confirmation of Makinde’s profligate spending and lack of administrative acumen. He said, “The outcome of the Supreme Court judgement on the local government administration

in Oyo State is commendable. Every politician will learn from the outcome of the Court judgement. It is a proof that Government of the day is profligate. “Why would a Governor be so myopic to the extent of sacking elected chairmen of local government the same day he was sworn in as the governor. “In effect, the Governor had paid his appointed Caretaker Chairmen and their members and will also pay the elected Chairmen and Councillors. All these payments are from tax payers purse and at a time of dwindling allocation from the Federal government!

“At a time we are encouraging government to block all the leakages, excesses and wastage in Government. I will advise the Governor to listen to critical stakeholders who understands governance in Oyo State. “On this note, I want to congratulate the entire family of Progressives in Oyo State, the grassroots politicians, members of ALGON and Nigerians for this outstanding Supreme Court for judgement. I hope other Governors learn from this and never trample on basic constitutional matters.”

Insecurity: Ex APC scribe seeks more security in tertiary institutions By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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ormer National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chairman of Governing Council of Waziri Birnin Kebbi Polytechnic, Kebbi State, Arc Waziri Bulama, has called for more security for the tertiary institutions in the country. Speaking with journàlists in Abuja, Bulama, who was among the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Board members inaugurated last two weeks, explained that the board members had not met to know the challenges in the Birnin Kebbi Polytechnic, through he stated that security of students would be a priority to the board members. He said as the Chairman, he would leverage on his relationship with the Governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Atiku Bagudu, Senate Leader, Senator

Yahaya Abdullahi, former Minister of FCT, Senator Haliru Aliero, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), etc, to give the Polytechnic a favorable administration. Asked to appraise the challenges faced by the institution and how he intends to tackle them, he said, “first we thank God that at the moment we’ve not received or heard of any involvement of the students of the Polytechnic in any case of violence or banditry. We thank God for that but on the other hand, we need to pay special attention to the laws governing security of lives and properties on the campuses. “There are laws that govern students’ conduct, laws that allow and prevent, some certain things and the conduct and behavior of students on the campuses will encourage the management of the Polytechnic to work closely

with them. To ensure that there is discipline on the campuses and that there is zero tolerance for all acts of indiscipline that may result in any threat to peace, within the campuses, students, staff and management staff and as well as the host communities of the polytechnic. “So we are going to work with the polytechnic authorities to ensure that there is zero tolerance for indiscreet behavior and zero tolerance for bad behaviors. “We will also work very closely with the communities, the security authorities, particularly the police and other institutions of State intelligence gathering and the traditional leadership and so on close to the school to ensure that they work and help the Polytechnic authorities to ensure no bad behaviour is tolerated and that any miscreants or bad behavior coming from the students would be nipped in the bud.

“In any case, we also will work to ensure that we don’t allow idleness on the campus, we will ensure that the students are occupied and monitored round the clock for the period that they are in the campus, that everything or anything they do is productive and something that can contribute to their education and orientation on the campus. “We will keep the students occupied, giving them less time to engage in any anti-social behaviour. For me, along with our Council members we will walk along these lines to ensure that we prevent and when we see we eradicate any threat to peace on the campus or within or, around the community that hosts this Polytechnic.” Bulama also said vocational studies of which Polytechnic education was meant for, would be emphasized by the Board members.

Do not crucify us, criticize us constructively – Oyo Deputy Governor begs journalists By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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yo state Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, has appealed to journalists in the state not to crucify the Governor Seyi Makinde led administration. Olaniyan who spoke at the weekend while addressing journalists, appealing to them to criticize the government constructively. The Deputy Governor during the breaking of fast with journalists insisted that many things would have gone wrong if newsmen were not available to be the watchdogs of the society. The press men were led by Chairman, Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Alhaji Ademola Babalola. He added that things would have gone worse more than it is if journalists were not there to keep the government on its toes. He, however, appealed to members of the union to write stories about the state government truthfully and not to mislead the public. Olaniyan said, “Do not crucify us, criticize us constructively so that we can make amendments. Let journalists write in the way it is. I thank all of you. We have been together. “Many things would have gone wrong if journalists are not available to be the watchdog of the society. If you are not around to be the watchdogs of the society, things would have gone worse than this.” Olaniyan also lauded the effort of journalists toward the development of the society, saying as the fourth estate of the realm, their role was crucial to nation building. He added that the emergence of the present administration in the state led by Makinde remained a big surprise to some people, particularly the opposition parties. He stated that prior to the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state, nobody could believe that Makinde could win the election, adding that their victory came as a surprise to the opposition. “They told us that we have never held any political office before, so it will be difficult for us to win the election, I told them that they are going to see a surprise and the surprise eventually happened when we won. “I have been in public service for over 28 years, I have different experiences, and all these experiences I gathered in 28 years has gone beyond politics.”

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PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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he All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to workers welfare is tested, proven and unmatched, despite criticism by the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP). In a statement issued yesterday by the National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of APC, John James Akpanudoedehe, the party which was replying to the statement by the PDP that the Federal government is planning to slash workers salaries, said the party is proud of its credentials as a truly Progressive and people centered political party. “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is up to its comical tales on what it terms “intelligence at its disposal” to slash the salaries of workers in the country. Clearly only the PDP believes its tales. “We are proud of our credentials as a truly progressive and peoplecentred political party. “From the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s several social investment programmes targeted at citizens living on the margin; implementation of the improved minimum wage; the Economic Sustainability Plan to the mass housing programme benefitting thousands, this government’s commitment to the welfare of Nigerian workers is tested, proven and unmatched. We will continue to match words with actions in line with our electoral promises”, APC said in the statement. It will be recalled that the opposition PDP, while alleging that the Federal government led by the APC wants to slash workers salaries, said “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country.” In a statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said “The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had

POLITICS

Buhari’s commitment to workers welfare tested, unmatched - APC tells PDP plunged our nation in the last six years. “The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians. “Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to

cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget. “Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads. “Moreover, the APC and its

administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance. “It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities.

“The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration.

L-R: Out-going FCT FRSC SEctor Commander, Mr Gora Wobin, receiving a gift from the FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello during the former’s farewell visit to the Minister, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

November guber: Soludo vows to make Anambra alternative to Lagos By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

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he frontline aspirant for Anambra gubernatorial election in November 6th on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Charles Chukwuma Soludo, has said with the development already attracted in the state by Gov. Willie Obiano, Anambra, under his watch, shall be the home of opportunities and an alternative to other emerging states in Nigeria and beyond if elected. The Professor of economics said this known at Ndiowu in Orumba North local government

Area of the state, where he was hosted by the member representing Orumba North in the State House of Assembly, Hon Chief Emeka Aforka, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader. Speaking at the event, the member representing Anambra East and West Federal Constituency at the green chambers of the National Assembly, Hon Chief Benjamin C Obidigwe, Akaoma Jide Aku, said Soludo is the best candidate, adding that even the opposition knows that. Obidigwe, who took the crowd memory lane, maintained

that Gov Willie Obiano has left an indelible mark in the history of Anambra state through the timely completion of Anambra International Cargo and Passengers Airport, including other numerous strides. He however said for the airport to be economically viable, Anambra needs Soludo to transform the state into an industrial hub using the airport as an added advantage. The event was attended by all the APGA executives in Orumba North and South, who endorsed Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo as their choice for APGA

gubernatorial election. Other dignitaries who also featured at the event included, the special adviser to the Governor of Anambra state on Political Matters, Hon Barr Ifeatu Obiokoye, the State House of Assembly member representing Orumba South, Hon Emma Nwafor. Others are the House Member Representing Nnewi South 11, Hon Sunny Ozobialu, the State House of Assembly member representing Aguata 11 Constituency, Hon Okechukwu Okoye and the APGA zonal chairman, Anambra South Senatorial District, Hon Barrister Ben Ibekwe, amongst others.

APC will win Rivers governorship in 2023 – Official

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saac Ogbobula, the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, said he was confident the APC will take over the state in 2023 governorship election. Ogbobula said this while speaking with members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Port Harcourt at the weekend. “We are confident that come 2023 election our party will be in charge of leadership because Rivers people love us,” he said. Mr Ogbobula said the party has put in place structures to reunite its members across the state.

He said the party has also appointed some of its members to look into the internal problems, resolve them and move the party forward before 2023. “The internal party issues are not unusual, there must be contest, and some measures of conflict. “It could be in any political party, or even in families and that’s why we made sure that every of our disagreements did not escalate. “We have committees at the state, regional and national levels led by Senator Andrew Uchendu and Wilson Ake at the state and regional and John Oyegun at the national to resolve every issue to move the party forward.

“APC in the state is a party that nobody should ignore. It is not a paper party or a social media club or an organisation, but a political party properly registered and credible in the state,” he said. Mr Ogbobula assured that everything that the party needed to do would be done within the context of the party for it to go forward. “We, therefore, urge every member of our party to join hands and move it forward,” he said. The chairman said the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, was fair when he said the governorship position should shift from upland to the riverine area in 2023.

Amaechi Okonkwo, chairman of the state Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ, in his remark, urged the party chairman to ensure there was peace in the party. He said he should focus on the party’s unity in order to provide a good democratic platform for the people. Mr Okonkwo said the union was nonpartisan as such would report the party’s activities for the development of the state. “We ask that you give us an open ear, pick our calls, give us information that can help us do our reports in response to balancing our reports for the growth of the state,” he said. (NAN)


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PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Stock Watch: Friday, May 7, 2021 Low

OPEN Volume Close High

2.80 3.15 0 1.94 3.94 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.64 0.64 0 4.60 8.60 0 37.00 68.30 0 3.79 4.21 0 9.65 10.05 0 31.50 34.00 0 1.90 1.92 0 18.45 18.45 0 1.72 1.84 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.20 0.20 0 6.10 6.10 0 1.75 1.75 0 186.00 186.00 0 6.00 6.65 0 14.60 14.55 0 1.80 2.00 0 3.37 3.37 0 4.30 4.70 0 14.00 14.00 0 7.35 7.80 0 1.62 1.65 0 1.91 1.96 0 4.95 4.95 99 0.33 0.33 0 21.85 21.85 0 29.60 30.70 0 0.20 0.20 0 12.20 13.05 0 32.60 32.95 0 72.00 72.00 0 1.18 1.18 0 1.53 1.53 0 31.50 31.50 0 0.51 0.54 0 0.20 0.20 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.44 0.44 0 0.30 0.30 0 1.36 1.36 0 0.72 0.72 0 0.52 0.49 0 1.83 1.83 0 2.45 2.45 0

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5.80 6.00 ACCESS -0.35 3.94 3.94 AFRIPRUD 0.00 0.27 0.27 AGLEVENT 0.00 0.64 0.64 AIICO 0.00 8.60 8.60 BERGER 0.00 67.00 67.00 BETAGLAS -1.30 3.79 3.79 BOCGAS -0.42 9.65 10.05 CADBURY -0.40 31.50 31.50 CAP -2.50 1.90 1.90 CAVERTON -0.02 18.45 18.45 CCNN 0.00 1.72 1.72 CHAMPION -0.12 23.25 23.25 CONOIL 0.00 0.20 0.20 CORNERST 0.00 0.20 0.20 COURTVILLE 0.00 6.10 6.10 CUSTODIAN 0.00 1.75 1.75 CUTIX 0.00 186.00 186.00 DANGCEM 0.00 6.00 6.25 DANGFLOUR -0.65 14.60 14.60 DANGSUGAR 0.05 1.80 2.00 DIAMONDBNK -0.20 3.37 3.37 EKOCORP 0.00 4.30 4.30 ETERNA -0.40 14.00 14.00 ETI 0.00 7.45 7.60 FBNH -0.35 1.62 1.67 FCMB -0.03 1.92 1.98 FIDELITYBK -0.04 4.95 4.95 FIDSON 0.00 0.33 0.33 FIRSTALUM 0.00 21.85 21.85 FLOURMILL 0.00 29.60 29.60 FO -1.10 0.20 0.20 FTNCOCOA 0.00 12.20 12.20 GLAXOSMITH -0.85 33.50 33.50 GUARANTY 0.55 72.00 72.00 GUINNESS 0.00 1.18 1.18 HONYFLOUR 0.00 1.53 1.53 IKEJAHOTEL 0.00 31.50 31.50 INTBREW 0.00 0.53 0.53 JAIZBANK -0.01 0.20 0.21 JAPAULOIL 0.00 23.25 23.25 JBERGER 0.00 0.44 0.44 JOHNHOLT 0.00 0.30 0.30 LASACO 0.00 1.36 1.36 LEARNAFRCA 0.00 0.72 0.72 LINKASSURE 0.00 0.52 0.52 LIVESTOCK 0.03 1.83 1.83 MANSARD 0.00 2.45 2.45 MAYBAKER 0.00

Stock Close Gain UPL 1.14 0.13 LIVESTOCK 0.52 0.01 SOVRENINS 0.21 0.03 OKOMUOIL 60.00 1.80 GUARANTY 23.50 0.55

Low 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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0.11 0.21 0 0.21 0.21 MBENEFIT 0.00 0 0.43 0.43 0 0.43 0.43 MCNICHOLS 0.00 0 1.05 2.05 261 2.05 2.05 MEDVIEWAIR 0.00 0 124.80 184.80 0 184.80 184.80 MOBIL 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 970 0.20 0.20 MULTIVERSE 0.00 0 3.50 3.50 0 3.50 3.50 NAHCO 0.00 0 18.00 18.00 0 18.00 18.00 NASCON 0.00 0 78.50 78.70 0 79.50 79.50 NB 0.80 0 0.78 0.78 0 0.78 0.78 NEIMETH 0.00 0 2.60 2.60 0 2.60 2.60 NEM 0.00 0 552.20 552.20 150 552.20 552.20 NESF 0.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 NESTLE 0.00 0 1.60 1.65 0 1.60 1.60 NPFMCRFBK -0.05 0 4.60 4.80 0 4.60 4.75 OANDO -0.20 0 80.00 76.20 0 80.00 80.00 OKOMUOIL 3.80 0 64.00 64.00 0 64.00 64.00 PRESCO 0.00 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 PRESTIGE 0.00 0 12.30 12.30 0 12.30 12.30 PZ 0.00 0 4.20 4.20 0 4.20 4.20 REDSTAREX 0.00 0 0.20 0.21 0 0.20 0.21 REGALINS -0.01 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 RESORTSAL 0.00 0 0.21 0.23 0 0.21 0.22 ROYALEX -0.02 0 640.00 640.00 405 640.00 640.00 SEPLAT 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.21 0.21 SOVRENINS 0.01 0 46.50 46.00 0 46.50 46.50 STANBIC 0.50 0 102.00 102.00 122 102.00 102.00 STANBICETF30 0.00 0 1.97 1.96 0 1.97 1.97 STERLNBANK 0.01 0 203.00 203.00 0 203.00 203.00 TOTAL 0.00 0 6.10 6.10 632 6.10 6.10 TRANSCOHOT 0.00 0 1.15 1.21 0 1.16 1.18 TRANSCORP -0.05 0 9.60 9.60 0 9.60 9.60 UACN 0.00 0 1.74 1.92 0 1.74 1.74 UAC-PROP -0.18 0 7.60 7.80 0 7.90 7.95 UBA 0.10 0 6.00 6.05 0 6.00 6.05 UBN -0.05 0 2.89 2.94 0 2.89 2.91 UCAP -0.05 0 36.30 37.00 0 36.30 36.30 UNILEVER -0.70 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.27 0.27 UNIONDAC 0.00 0 1.00 0.99 0 1.00 1.00 UNITYBNK 0.01 0 2.04 1.97 0 2.14 2.14 UPL 0.17 0 0.23 0.23 0 0.23 0.23 VERITASKAP 0.00 0 4.50 4.99 0 4.50 4.50 VITAFOAM -0.49 0 11.30 11.50 0 11.30 11.65 WAPCO -0.20 0 0.40 0.40 0 0.40 0.40 WAPIC 0.00 0 0.59 0.61 0 0.59 0.61 WEMABANK -0.02 0 21.20 22.70 0 21.70 22.50 ZENITHBANK -1.00 0 Copyright © 2019 NgTradeOnline

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NEITI, CAC to collaborate on Beneficial Ownership Disclosures By Etuka Sunday

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he Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) have resolved to establish joint coordination committee to identify, document and disclose the real owners of Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining assets under the country’s implementation of Beneficial Ownership policy of the global extractive industries transparency initiative. The Head, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Obiageli Onuorah in a statement said, the decisions were taken at a meeting between the management of the two agencies held in Abuja. The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji described the CAC as a dependable ally in Nigeria’s implementation of the global EITI’s beneficial ownership disclosure requirements. According to Dr. Orji, “The CAC has the institutional responsibility of keeping the register of all companies doing business in Nigeria while NEITI sits on information and data on oil assets, key players and investors in the extractive industries. We therefore need each other to build a consolidated data base on beneficial ownership disclosures”. Dr. Orji added that “The knowledge reposited in the two agencies makes it important for us to work together to ensure that the commitment made by Nigeria to the international community on effective implementation of Beneficial Ownership in the extractive industry is realized”. The NEITI Executive Secretary explained that when information on who owns what in Nigeria is documented and made public, it will help to check illicit financial flows, terrorism financing, tax evasion and diversion of government revenues. He described access to information by the citizens as the “Power to hold government and companies doing business in Nigeria accountable. “The exclusion of information about our natural resources was at a huge cost to the Nigerian economy and affected Nigeria’s optimization of revenues from its natural resource wealth. With your cooperation and reputation, we can help our government fight the resource curse which is the reason the EITI and NEITI exist”, Dr. Orji stated. He commended the Registrar General Alhaji Garba Abubakar for the reforms ongoing at the CAC and re-affirmed NEITI’s readiness to forge closer ties with the Commission to strengthen institutional reforms. The Registrar General of the

Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar assured of CAC’s irrevocable commitment to partner with NEITI towards meeting the compliance standards set by the global EITI in beneficial ownership reporting. Alhaji Abubakar stated that “The CAC is already working on comprehensive beneficial ownership register that will be

global standard. He disclosed that since the 3rd January this year, all companies registering to do business in Nigeria were required to disclose the identity of their real owners. Alhaji Abubakar added, “This information became a requirement by the CAC for purposes of beneficial ownership information in public interest for anyone who

needs it and at no cost to other government agencies”. Alhaji Garba Abubakar listed some of the reforms that have been introduced by the CAC to include the use of electronic workflows and digitization of its processes including post – registration activities. “From January 2021, CAC upgraded to an end-to end electronic

registration, abolishing the printing of registration certificates”, he explained. The two agencies also agreed to expand collaboration as key members of Open Government Partnership on ease of doing business and extractive revenues governance, transparency and accountability.

L- R: Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr Hamid Bobboyi, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) Professor Ismail Junaidu, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sunny Echono and Director, Educational Planning and Research, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Ogochukwu Ufoegbune, during the Launch of Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

NNPC begins rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery, pledges timely completion By Etuka Sunday

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he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has kicked off construction work in the Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation project with a firm commitment not to fail Nigerians. A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, quoted the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Refineries & Petrochemicals, Engr. Mustapha Yakubu, as saying that everything was being done to ensure that the project is delivered hitch-free and on schedule. Speaking at the Technical Kickoff Meeting for the project which held at the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex, Alesa Eleme, Rivers State, Engr. Yakubu said everything about the project had been carefully worked out to ensure that the target of at least 90% refining capacity is achieved

when operational. “It must be hitch-free and that is why we are engaging the host communities appropriately. 200 million Nigerians are looking up to us and we can’t afford to fail. We’ve been on this journey since 2019,” he said. The COO disclosed that the project would require 3,000 workers at the peak of activities, stressing that out of that number there would be only 70 expatriates while the balance would be sourced locally in line with the local content policy. He expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for approving $1.5 billion for the project. Speaking earlier via a message delivered on his behalf by the Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation, Mr. Umar Ajiya, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, assured Nigerians that the Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC) would roar back to life on or before April 5, 2023, when repairs would

have been completed on the old refinery also known as Area 5. He said the target was to fix the old refinery first so that local refining can resume as soon as possible, adding that NNPC management would do everything to support the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, to ensure prompt delivery of the project. “We are happy we have the contractor onboard. With strong collaboration of all parties involved, we will achieve the desired results. We have both government and private sector financing. We have the finance ministry, NEITI, labour unions and other stakeholders on board this project. They want to see transparency so they can report same to Nigerians and this is one of the most transparent processes ever”, he stated In his presentation, the Managing Director of PHRC, Engr. Ahmed Dikko, said that all the process plants have been made hydrocarbon-free to

enable the contractor carry out the rehabilitation work safely. On his part, the representative of Maire Technimont SPA, Mr. Masu Alberto, said that the rehabilitation journey started in 2017 with integrity test of the refinery. “In 2019, we did work on it and then now. We’re deploying a good number of engineers”, he said. He listed some of the key activities that will be carried out in the project to include refurbishing of the technical building, replacement of the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems, refurbishing of 24 offsite tanks, replacement of electrical equipment in substation, installation of primary earthing integration and new lighting system. He said the project would also involve the replacement of pumps, turbines, one expander, boilers, three compressor fans and blowers, tanks, vessel and drums among other items equipment.


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BU$IN€SS SEC to register, monitor Brokers selling stocks for foreign companies By Etuka Sunday

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he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to register and actively monitor brokers selling stocks for foreign companies in furtherance of its mandate of ensuring investor protection and market transparency especially for retail investors. This was disclosed by Executive Commissioner Operations of the SEC, Mr. Dayo Obisan during an interview with Bloomberg weekend. Obisan said the SEC intends to license firms offering foreign stocks under a “digital sub-broker” regulation, which should provide a form of clarity to their activities adding that the requirement will ensure regulatory responsibilities in on-boarding clients, custody of assets, and compliance with reporting requirements are met. He said the SEC is mindful that these platforms expose investors to both local and foreign stocks and are mooting registration of these platforms under the Digital SubBroker regulations which should provide some form of legitimacy for their activities while also ensuring that regulatory responsibilities in on-boarding clients, custody of assets, and compliance with reporting requirements are met. According to him, “Ultimately, we expect that registration will ensure that only genuine platforms target retail investors. We already have one of the platforms at a very advanced stage in the registration process. “The SEC has rules on foreign investments and cross-border transactions which specify the requirements for foreign investors seeking to invest in Nigeria as well as issuers of securities. Broadly speaking, all capital market instruments are registrable – Equities, Bonds, Units of Investment Funds, Derivatives, etc “The Nigerian Market has been open to listing of securities by Foreign Issuers and there are no restrictions in that regard. As mentioned earlier, Part H of our Rules deals with the regulation of foreign investments and crossborder securities transactions. Most foreign issuers take advantage of the reciprocal agreements which exist between Nigeria and the Country of the Issuer especially where the securities regulator of that country is a member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). “This is quite distinct from the activities of the online platforms which are brokering secondary deals in securities which have been issued in another country and essentially performing a function for which they have not been registered or

licensed, which is what necessitated the circular by the Commission”. Obisan disclosed that Nigerians, like other citizens across the globe have the liberty to trade across borders but said that what has become a growing trend however is the participation by retail investors in cross-border transactions which had hitherto been undertaken by institutional and high net worth investors. “This sort of savvy investors have the resources and skillset to undertake independent evaluations of potential cross-border investments beyond disclosures made to them. What we can confirm, based on our interactions with some of the online platform operators which are facilitating these trades, is that there has been a sharp increase over the last 18 months in the number of users of these platforms. He said about 400,000 Nigerians invested in foreign stock through online brokers in the last 18 months adding that “there also

appears to be an increasing interest among the younger population and this is of interest to the Commission primarily because it creates an avenue for exploitation if it is not properly monitored and regulated. Especially as this interest is not mirrored on the traditional and core asset class”. “We are aware that there is a growing number of people utilising these platforms for investing in foreign stocks. The platform operators indicate that there is a mix, which is not static because different factors may affect the final execution of transactions, which in itself may not be a true reflection of the interest of the investor. Hence, we don’t have exact figures right now, but we are aware that there has been a growing number”. On the way forward, The SEC Executive Commissioner said the Commission is speaking to CMOs, has engaged and will keep engaging the platform owners who are trying to deploy tech solutions for capital

market activities. “We will also be engaging CMOs which have partnered or are looking to partner with platform owners in performing their registered functions. We understand that these partnerships are being forged in a bid to enhance the performance of functions for which they are already registered, however, the Commission needs to be clear on the roles and responsibilities of each party and also obtain clarity on how they choose to support these investments in foreign stocks bearing in mind the currency exposure, ownership and direct custody of assets, adequacy of information being provided to enable the investor make an informed decision and ability to take benefit of corporate actions such as dividends. “It would aid our understanding of dispute resolution mechanisms, existence of insurance and backup facilities, trade settlement and other measures which are in place or which should be in place for the

protection of investors on-boarded through these platforms bearing in mind the exposure and potential effect on the local market and the economy in general. “In terms of resolutions, direct investments in foreign stocks is something to be considered carefully. The IOSCO report on cross-border trading recommends that emerging markets such as ours should consider the peculiarities of our corporate environment, extent of investor education, and protection measures which are available to investors. There is a high risk of fraud which must be minimised by whatever approach we eventually adopt. This informed our decision to preliminarily issue a halt order. The outcome of our inclusive engagements with all stakeholders will inform the ultimate outcome and approach. We don’t expect this engagement and resolution process to take an inordinate amount of time given that engagements have been ongoing,” he added.

LG raises bar in delivering OLED models By Etuka Sunday

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magine what’s possible when the most innovative TV meets the fastest and most powerful console games like Xbox Series X etc. Rapid response time, smooth graphics and enhanced immersion with Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos on supporting TVs are some of the new features serious gamers and TV lovers look out for these days. Leading the next generation of OLED TVs innovation, LG Electronics (LG), the world leader in OLED TVs, has continued to raise the bar in delivering LG OLED models that offer new artinspired GX Gallery series, CX and classic Real 8K models. These set of OLED TVs are designed to deliver stunning picture quality and innovative design with upgraded performance and artificial intelligence-enabled features that bring movies, sports and video games to life like never before imagined. According to Mr. Mike Ahn, General Manager, Home Entertainment, TV Division, LG Electronics West Africa, LG is offering the latest and greatest OLED TVs specs for gaming and cinema experience in the market today. “At LG, we understand that frame rates can often change throughout a game. If a TV can’t match these changes, you get image tearing and blurring. That’s why LG OLED TVs support Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and are certified as HDMI 2.1 —

reducing motion blur with fast motion transitions and seamless gameplay up to 120fps, and at the highest resolution”, he explained. As LG continues to champion E-Sport development in Nigeria, Gamers are enthusiastic about the gaming tournament all over the country. LG Electronics, a brand known for providing innovative products globally started its OLED Gaming Competition in 2018 during the last World Cup and since then has been at the forefront of driving E-Sports development in Nigeria. In 2019, regional tournaments were held across Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan with the grand finale in Lagos. The brand is not resting on its oars as the 1st phase of the 2020/21 championship started in November 2020 with cities such as Lagos, Ibadan, Port Harcourt and Abuja producing a winner each and will engage each other in the grand finale in Lagos. While the 2nd phase of the championship involving cities such as Owerri, Warri and Port Harcourt have commenced. Gamers visit www. lgoledgamingtv.com to register for the competition and www.lg.com/ Africa for OLED TV purchase. LG continues to work with gaming industry-leader; NVIDIA to make LG OLED TV the only G-SYNC compatible TV. LG OLED TVs use the precision and control of individual selflit pixels to take full advantage of the G-SYNC compatibility, allowing fast response time and smoother gaming experience in high resolution. LG has joined

some of the biggest developers and tech companies in gaming to ensure the best HDR gaming experience. Combined with the picture quality provided by selflit pixels, HGiG delivers graphics that best match the specifications and performance levels of your TV The South Korean company was the first TV manufacturer in the world to introduce HDMI 2.1 features to TVs with wider support than its competitors. It pioneered the feature last year, and this year every LG 2021 OLED TV comes with ALLM and eARC while most models will also support VRR. Other TV makers have attempted to follow in LG’s footsteps only to fall behind particularly regarding HDMI port compatibility according to the HDMI 2.1 standard. LG OLED has solidified its top position among gaming TVs based on its inherent technological

superiority and continued effort to respond to consumer needs in a timely manner with the latest features to pair with gaming consoles and devices. With LG Game Optimiser, all game settings are in one place. Game Optimiser provides optimised settings for various game genres including, FPS, RPG, and RTS. You can access everything in one place for greater control over picture and sound settings. And you can also toggle VRR, NVIDIA G-SYNC, and AMD Free Sync™ technologies. This added control ensures all your games will be clear and smooth with less lag, stutter, and tearing. With stellar picture quality and newly added gaming features, LG’s latest TVs are ideal for serious gamers, delivering the most seamless, immersive bigscreen gaming experiences available anywhere.

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

By Stanley Onyekwere

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arely two months into the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), some medical experts have decried the swelling apathy towards to the exercise, resulting in low coverage of eligible persons especially in the rural areas. This, according to the experts portends mortal dangers to the well-being of the entire population of the nation’s capital, in the wake of the prevailing devastating effects of the pandemic to the society. Available statistics as at May 6, 2021, revealed that a total of 96,559 have been successfully vaccinated during the first round of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise is expected to end this Friday, May 14. Programme officer, Immunization Services in FCT, Mrs. Salome Tor, described as unfortunate that there is so much apathy towards the COVID-19 vaccination especially among rural dwellers in the FCT. Tor spoke while giving the FCT COVID-19 vaccine accountability profile at a one-day media orientation workshop on the exercise, organised by the FCT Primary Healthcare Development Board, in Territory. She revealed as at May 5, 2021, there is 104,700 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the FCT cold store, as balance of the 123,700 received for the exercise in Abuja. She noted that the exercise has been ongoing for about two months now, no death have been recorded, but only 47 mild and 2 severe (those with rashes) reactions were recorded. According to the programme officer of the vaccination programme, those eligible for the vaccine are 18 years old and above in the Territory. “We have a minimum of three health workers in each team, they have all been distributed into the six area council, all the government hospitals in the FCT are selected location for this

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COVID-19 vaccination: Experts decry Abuja residents’ apathy vaccination. “We also have temporary fixed post team; these are special teams who visit various organisations or special location. We urge people to go and vaccinate before the exercise closes,” she stated. Similarly, the Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare, Dr. Iwot Ndaeyo, cautioned that deliberately avoiding vaccination posed imminent dangers to everyone in the Territory. Ndaeyo however noted that FCT Administration is working

... 96,559 vaccinated as exercise ends May 14 toward making sure that 80 per cent of people in a community gets vaccinated to have immunity over the virus. According to him, “We need at least seven out of 10 people to be vaccinated to be able to withstand the SARS 2 virus of COVID-19. “I consider that as a deliberate hazard that will become hazardous to the community, so we advice that people shouldn’t put themselves in

that position, they should go ahead and take the vaccine. “We started this vaccination in FCT on March 15, the country at large started it on March 5, we have not seen anybody with serious complains about the vaccine in FCT. “Why are people waiting, they should go ahead and take this vaccine in the health facility within the 62 wards of the FCT, the

vaccine is safe.” On his part, World Health Organisation (WHO) Consultant to FCT healthcare board, Abdulrasheed Jimoh, stressed the need for the media to help develop attitudinal change in the mind of the public about COVID-19 and the vaccine. He therefore urged members of the public to do away with myths and lies about COVID-19 vaccine.

Members of Helpline Foundation for the Needy (HLFN) founded by Dr. Jummai Ahmadu during their monitoring of the NGO Non profit revolving loan scheme to women clusters in Bwari area council and presentation of another grinding machine from one beneficial to another one (Mrs Olanike Ayanniyi) help at the weekend in Abuja

Traffic regulations: FCT Minister tasks FRSC on advocacy, enforcement By Stanley Onyekwere

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he FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has charged the leadship of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), to ensure the enforcement of all traffic regulation on FCT roads as well as embark on enlightenment and advocacy in the Territory. Bello gave this charge when he received the new FC Sector Commander, Samuel Ogar Ochi, in his office, in Area 11, Garki, Abuja. According to a statement from FCTA Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye yesterday, the Minister urged new FRSC boss in FCT, to pay adequate attention to, and meet the traffic challenges along Airport Road, a 10 lane expressway comprising of numerous bus

stops, pedestrian bridges, with several settlements bordering it, and a major gateway into the city. He added that apart from the Airport Road, focus should also be on the Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway, “starting all the way from the interchange junction, right through to the Apo Interchange, as well as the Aminu Kano Crescent in Wuse II. These are some of the areas in the city where you have the greatest concentration of traffic and also the greatest challenges. “In the discharge of your duties, your keyword should be enforcement, enforcement, enforcement. After these three keys, you can go to the second one which is enlightenment and advocacy, because so many people on the streets are driving vehicles without knowledge of traffic regulations.”

The Minister also urged new FRSC boss to ensure the commitment of the men and women to their jobs, while pledging the continuous support of the FCT Administration to the FRSC in the discharge of its responsibilities in the FCT. In his response, the new Sector Commander, pledged to work hard to meet the challenges of ensuring road safety in the FCT, saying that he was already familiar with the demands of his assignment in the FCT. He also commended the FCT Minister for the steps taken to improve traffic management in the Territory inclusive of restrictions placed on the operations of tricycles and commercial motorcycles as well as the construction of roads saying: “you can now drive to Dutse as if you are within the city”.

Speaking earlier the outgoing Sector Commander, Ayuba Gora Wobin expressed his appreciation to the FCT Minister for all the support he enjoyed from the FCT Administration as the Sector Commander. Robin, while noting that the job was challenging due to the constant influx of people into the FCT, maintained that cooperation of officials of the FCT Administration contributed to the successes he enjoyed. Also present at the event were the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, the Director Human Resources Management, Dr. Bashir Muhammed, the Director Security Services, Mr Adamu Gwary and other senior staff of the FCTA.


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world news

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Kabul attack: Families bury schoolchildren of blast that killed dozens S ome of the children killed outside a secondary school in Kabul on Saturday have been buried - as other relatives are still searching for the missing. More than 60 people - mostly girls - died in the explosions that occurred as students were leaving the building. No-one has admitted carrying out the attack in Dasht-e-Barchi - an area often hit by Sunni Islamist militants. Afghan government officials blamed Taliban militants for the attack, but the group denied any involvement. Nobel Prize winner and activist Malala Yousafzai - who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 - posted about the “horrendous attack” on Twitter. “My heart is with the Kabul school victims’ families,” she wrote. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter The exact target for Saturday’s bloodshed is unclear. The blasts come against a backdrop of rising violence as the US looks to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 11 September. What happened on Saturday? The explosions are believed to have been caused by a car bomb and two improvised explosive devices planted in the area. One survivor, Zahra, told reporters she was leaving the school as the blasts took place. “My classmate died. A few minutes later there was another explosion, and then another. Everyone was screaming and there was blood everywhere,” she said. A woman is carried to hospital after the attack Several witnesses described hearing three separate explosions, while one woman, Reza, told AFP news agency she had seen “many bloodied bodies in dust and smoke”. “I saw a woman checking the bodies and

calling for her daughter,” Reza said. “She then found her daughter’s bloodstained purse after which she fainted and fell to the ground.” More than 150 people were injured in the attack. Reports from Kabul say the city was busy with shoppers ahead of this year’s celebrations for Eid al-Fitr next week. Najiba Arian, ministry of education spokeswoman, told Reuters news agency the government-run school was open to boys and girls. Most of the those hurt were girls, who study in the second of three sessions, according to Ms Arian. What’s the context? Afghanistan is seeing increasing violence as the US and Nato prepare to pull out all remaining forces from the country on 11 September. On Saturday the US state department condemned “the barbarous attack”. “We call for an immediate end to violence and the senseless targeting of innocent civilians,” it said. The European Union’s mission in Afghanistan said on Twitter that “targeting primarily students in a girls’ school, makes this an attack on the future of Afghanistan”. The neighbourhood in western Kabul where the blasts occurred is home to many from the Hazara minority community, who are of Mongolian and Central Asian descent and are mainly Shia Muslims. Almost exactly a year ago, a maternity unit at the local hospital was attacked, leaving 24 women, children and babies dead. Heather Barr, who works for Human Rights Watch, tweeted a series of videos and photos of what she said was the school in Kabul - including a tour of the site given by one of the students. Ms Barr said the group had filmed a documentary there in 2017. Analysis by Secunder Kermani, BBC Afghanistan correspondent

Families began to bury some of the victims on Sunday So many places in Afghanistan have endured so much pain, but the Dasht-eBarchi neighbourhood in Kabul has suffered horrendously. The neighbourhood is populated by members of Afghanistan’s Hazara ethnic minority. As followers of Shia Islam, the Islamic State group (IS) views them as heretics, and has carried out a vicious campaign, attacking the softest of targets. Dozens have been killed in bombings at sports halls, cultural centres, and places of education in particular.

Last year, and in 2018, IS suicide bombers struck tuition centres in the area killing more than 70 people. IS is not part of the peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government, which in any case are currently stalled. As of yet, there’s been no claim for the attack on Saturday. However, IS continues to carry out assassinations and bombings in Kabul and the city of Jalalabad, despite having recently lost much of the territory it once controlled in the east of the country. Source: BBC

China’s pairing assistance program gives impetus to the development of Xinjiang By Fang Min, People’s Daily

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hanks to the pairing assistance program, under which 19 provinces and cities across China have provided and strengthened all-round support for northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang have enjoyed a stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness and security. These provinces and cities have invested a total of 96.4 billion yuan (about $14.89 billion) in Xinjiang, including the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), implemented over 10,000 projects in the region, and introduced a total investment of over 1,684 billion yuan from local companies, among which central enterprises invested more than 700 billion yuan in Xinjiang. Recently, over 6,000 residents in Yamansu Kyrgyz ethnic township, Uqturpan county, Aksu prefecture of Xinjiang, received an insurance policy from the command center of east China’s Zhejiang province for providing pairing assistance for Xinjiang. The insurance policy was designed to protect these people from falling into or returning to poverty

because of diseases or disasters. Zhejiang province has also launched a medical assistance project in the First People’s Hospital of Aksu Prefecture. Under the project, Hong Zhaoyang, an ophthalmologist from the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, has lately conducted keratoplasty in Aksu prefecture and helped two patients recover sight. As a national strategy of China, the pairing assistance program represents an important part of the country’s efforts to drive the reform, development, and social progress in Xinjiang and improve the livelihood of Xinjiang residents. Since 2016, Zhejiang has selected and sent 2,772 officials and talents to Aksu prefecture and the first division of the XPCC. From 2016 to 2020, the province rolled out 329 projects for the pairing assistance, helped Xinjiang build 24 parks of various kinds, and introduced 621 companies into the region, thus enabling 200,000 locals to secure jobs in or near their hometowns. Since 2012, the policy of providing comprehensive, targeted and long-term assistance for Xinjiang has continued to gather momentum, and many new technologies and means have therefore

been widely applied, infusing robust vitality into the development of Xinjiang. To promote solid progress in assisting Xinjiang with industries, Zhejiang has creatively carried out three projects in recent years, namely building stores in cities in Zhejiang for the sale of agricultural products from Xinjiang, establishing factories in villages of Xinjiang to generate jobs for locals, and introducing new agricultural plant varieties and technologies to facilitate production in Xinjiang. Focusing on such fields as logistics, warehousing, and branding in Xinjiang, Zhejiang has established a sales network for farm produce from Xinjiang, which covers all areas in Zhejiang province and can sell products to the whole country. Difficulties can always be surmounted, said officials who have been sent to aid Xinjiang, adding that they are pleased that residents in Xinjiang have shaken off poverty and become better-off, patients have got well, and the number of local talents has kept rising. Providing pairing assistance for Xinjiang requires both introducing resources and funds to the region and empowering the locals with means to prosper, which makes it important to enhance the foundations

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

of and build platforms and mechanisms for helping Xinjiang cultivate a local team of talents and force for development. Provinces and cities that have paired up with Xinjiang to help the region have made great efforts in this regard. During the past five years, a total of 180,000 officials in Xinjiang took part in training sessions provided by Zhejiang province. The Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, an important participant in the endeavors of helping build up Xinjiang’s medical service capacity, has sent many senior medical experts to Aksu prefecture and launched innovative mechanisms to improve and upgrade local hospitals. Meanwhile, the hospital has invited 120 medical workers from Aksu prefecture and provided them with further vocational studies. Considering development an important foundation for long-term stability and security in Xinjiang, China believes that Xinjiang will certainly embrace a brighter future as it continues to bring into play the geographical advantages of the region and unleash the strengths of its pairing assistance program.

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South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir dissolves parliament

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outh Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has dissolved parliament, paving the way for the appointment of MPs from opposing sides in the country’s five-year civil war. Activists and civil society groups say the move is long overdue. A peace deal signed three years ago determined that almost a quarter of the MPs would come from the party of Mr Kiir’s former foe, Riek Machar. The majority of the 550 legislators will be from the governing SPLM party. South Sudan’s MPs will not be elected but will instead be nominated by different political parties. “Let it not take weeks or months”, Edmund Yakani of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation one of the civil society groups that signed the peace deal - told the BBC.

“If possible, the president should appoint the new parliament by Monday.” The conflict that erupted in South Sudan in 2013 caused one of Africa’s worst humanitarian crises, with at least 380,000 people killed and millions forced from their homes. The BBC’s Africa editor Will Ross says politicians in South Sudan are slowly fulfilling the promises they made in the 2018 peace agreement. A unity government has been in place for over a year, but following numerous outbreaks of inter-ethnic conflict the UN has warned of a risk of a return to largescale conflict in South Sudan. Our Africa editor says there are still major challenges ahead for South Sudan including the formation of a new national army - made up of soldiers from the opposing sides in the country’s civil war. A recent report by the UN has called for the arms embargo to be extended, and for new sanctions against people who hinder the implementation of the peace deal. Insecurity is still rife across South Sudan and has prevented many farmers -

President Kiir issued the decree on Saturday evening (archive photo) who have been forced to flee their homes from planting or harvesting crops, causing food shortages nationwide. There are also warnings from the UN’s

World Food Programme that more than seven million people in South Sudan will suffer acute food insecurity over the coming months.

Church leader accuses Ethiopia Chad claims win over rebels after President Déby’s death of ‘Tigray genocide’ T

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he powerful head of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church has accused the government of committing genocide against the Tigrayan people. In his first public comments since the war began in Tigray six months ago, Patriarch Abune Mathias said the government was working day and night to destroy the region. “God will judge everything,” he said. “I don’t know why they want to wipe the people of Tigray off the face of the earth.” Ethiopia’s federal authorities have denied genocide and insist they are targeting Tigray’s regional leadership, not civilians. The patriarch, himself a Tigrayan, said his earlier attempts to speak out had been censored. He was speaking from his home in the capital, Addis Ababa. He lamented the desecration of ancient Orthodox monasteries and said massacres had been carried out on church grounds. His comments were made in a video that was reportedly recorded last month before being smuggled out of Ethiopia by Dennis Wadley, who runs the US-based organisation Bridges of Hope. “He shared with me that he was under unofficial house arrest,” Mr Wadley told BBC Newshour on Saturday. “I said if you want to get your message out I can record it and I will take it... So, with about 10 seconds of thought, he just sat quietly and he said ‘I’m ready’ - and I hit record. “What has been released to the world was not written down.. it was just the honest thoughts from his own soul.” The Ethiopian government told the BBC that the patriarch’s statement was “a Church matter” in which “the state does not intervene”.

he military in Chad has claimed victory against northern rebels following weeks of fighting. The conflict against Libya-based rebels threw the country into a crisis when President Idriss Déby died after being wounded on the frontline last month. The military takeover under the leadership of Mr Déby’s son has been condemned by the opposition and civil society groups, leading to protests. The rebel group says it is not aware of an end to the fighting. However a victory parade took place through the streets of the capital, N’Djamena, on Sunday, aimed at boosting the popularity of the Chadian military at a time of great uncertainty in the country. Some onlookers cheered on Sunday as soldiers returned from the frontline in a parade of tanks and armoured vehicles. At an army base, journalists were shown dozens of people said to be captured rebels. Chad is reputed as having one of the besttrained and best-equipped armies in West Africa, and is one of the Western-backed “G5” countries fighting Islamist militants in the Sahel region. The army put people they said were captured rebels on display, along with confiscated weapons

Sunday’s parade was an attempt to boost the army’s popularity at at time of great uncertainty The rebel group, Front for Change and Concord in Chad (Fact), crossed the border from Libya into Chad in April to take a stand against President Déby’s 30-year rule. It is not clear if Fact is still a threat to the military junta now running the country, and a spokesman for the group said it was not aware of an end to the fighting, reports the Reuters news agency. As the BBC’s Africa editor Will Ross

reports, the public was told a few weeks ago that the rebel group had been defeated - only for the fighting to resume. In recent weeks protests demanding a return to civilian rule have been violently broken up by the security forces. In the latest of these, 10 people were injured including one person who was shot in the capital on Saturday.

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t least 15 people have been killed by a landslide at a clandestine gold mine in Guinea’s north-eastern Siguiri region. Overhanging rocks collapsed on Saturday morning, crushing some victims and burying others inside the mine. A government spokesman has said the “exact circumstances and causes of the tragedy” will be investigated. A local Red Cross official said two women

were among the dead and that it was likely more bodies would be found. “This site is already mined by machines. The miners had struck too far in. That’s how the earth, being very badly suspended, gave under,” Djanko Dansoko is quoted as saying by news site Guinee360. There are hundreds of unofficial “artisanal” mines around Siguiri, where gold is laboriously panned by hand and safety

standards are low. This particular site is near the village of Tatakourou, about 40km (25 miles) from the city centre of Siguiri. Seventeen miners were killed in a landslide in Guinea two years ago, and a dozen more nine months later. The search for gold attracts clandestine miners from Mali, Senegal and other West African countries.


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Chinese senior citizen surnamed Liu was recently surprised by the convenience of digital RMB, or e-CNY, during a visit to Bo’ao, south China’s Hainan province. He told People’s Daily that he bumped into a digital RMB promotional activity in the city that was piloting e-currency, and finished payment by simply placing his smart watch on a POS machine. “This ‘wallet’ came in very handy,” Liu said. He hoped that the new payment method could be applied in China as soon as possible. A Shanghai resident surnamed Chen, who’s an owner of a vegetable stall at a farm produce market, holds similar points with Liu. “Thanks to digital currency, my daily turnover is automatically saved in my bank account. Besides, it also offers realtime and free transfer of money,” she said. Digital RMB is essentially a legal currency issued by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank of China, under national credit guarantee. It is digital cash, and completely equivalent to banknotes and coins in terms of value. At the end of 2019, digital RMB was put in pilot tests in Chinese cities like Shenzhen, Suzhou and Chengdu, Xiong’an New area, a state-level new area in north China’s Hebei province, as well as future scenarios

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Digital RMB coming soon to Chinese citizens for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. By October 2020, six more pilot areas were added, including Hainan province, Shanghai, Changsha, Xi’an, Qingdao, and Dalian. Experts pointed out that digital RMB has attracted wide attention for its convenience and efficiency. It transfers money in real time as there’s no intermediary agency between the payers and payees. Besides, it also works like cash in offline scenarios. More importantly, digital RMB can better protect the privacy of users as it promises controllable anonymity and denies merchants and third-party platforms the access to consumers’ ID information and payment data. As a key feature of e-CNY, controllable anonymity not only helps guarantee individuals’ legitimate anonymous transactions and personal information security, but also contributes to preventing, controlling and cracking down on money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and other illegal and criminal activities for higher level of financial safety, said Mu Changchun, head of the Institute of Digital Money under the PBOC. With multiple banks in the pilot areas testing the innovative payment method, e-CNY has been applied in

A citizen in Shanghai pays for fruits with digital RMB at a farmers’ market in the city, April 20, 2021. (Photo by Wang Gang/People’s Daily Online) a variety of scenarios ranging from catering services and daily payment to shopping and transportation. It is expected that digital RMB will extend to online businesses like e-commerce and short video platforms, and play a major role

in real economy sectors such as corporate trade and supply chain finance. In the era of digital economy, digital currency boasts huge potential for development, and can help improve the efficiency of economic

operation and may even give birth to new business forms and economic models, said Mei Xinyu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

First China International Consumer Products Expo to be held in Hainan By Zhao Peng, Cao Wenxuan, People’s Daily

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he first China International Consumer Products Expo, or Hainan Expo, is scheduled to be held from May 7 to 10 in Haikou, capital of South China’s Hainan Province. Vast numbers of domestic and international consumer products will be exhibited at the event. It is reported that the exhibition will cover a total area of 80,000 square meters, including 60,000 square meters of international exhibition space. So far, 1,193 international brands from 69 countries and regions have confirmed their participation, including L’Oreal, Rémy Martin, Shiseido, Kao, Johnson & Johnson, Dell and Swarovski. “I used all my duty-free shopping quota in Hainan’s Sanya a couple of months ago, and I’m planning to go all out at the upcoming Hainan Expo since I heard the consumption made at the event is not included in the 100,000yuan ($20,485) duty-free shopping quota,” said a woman surnamed Wang from Beijing, who has just booked her second flight to Hainan this year. “I’ll focus more on baby care products and cosmetics this time,” she added. Thanks to the offshore duty-free shopping policy that Hainan adopted July the last year, consumption has become an important part on the agenda of tourists visiting the province. According to customs statistics, a total of nearly 1.79 million tourists consumed 17.75 million pieces of dutyfree products in Hainan, which leads to a duty-free shopping volume of 13.57 billion yuan. The three figures increased 355.7 percent, 327.7 percent and 176.8 percent from a year ago, respectively. During this year’s Spring Festival holiday, the sales volume of Hainan’s

duty-free shops doubled from two years ago. Shen Xiaoming, secretary of the Communist Party of China Hainan Provincial Committee, said on a recent press conference that the offshore dutyfree shopping volume of the province might exceed 60 billion yuan this year. As China’s per capita GDP hits $10,000 and the country enters a new phase of consumption upgrading, the Chinese people are having an increasing demand for high-quality commodities.

Last year, the country imported 1.57 trillion yuan of consumer products, up 8.2 percent year on year and outrunning the growth of the import of goods in the same period. In the first quarter this year, China’s cross-border e-commerce platforms imported 138.7 billion yuan of products, up 15.1 percent. Goldmax, a formula brand from New Zealand, has put its products onto the shelves of multiple duty-free shops in Hainan Province since it was introduced to the Chinese market by

GOVKING Group, a Chinese infant formula and supplement retailer, in 2008. “We are confident that we’ll attract more consumers at the Hainan Expo,” said Wu Suguo, president of GOVKING Group. Over 20,000 professional buyers are expected to gather at the Hainan Expo, and the expo is about to witness 200,000 visits. Thirty-four delegations formed by 31 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities,

Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, as well as Xiamen and Dalian, two cities under separate state planning, will attend the expo to exhibit their quality products and time-honored brands. “Chinese consumers have a very strong demand for a better life, as well as high-quality and healthy consumption,” said an executive of Johnson & Johnson China. The company is confident about its high-quality development in China, the executive added.

China pools nationwide efforts to foster low-carbon lifestyle for national goal of peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality By Luo Lan, People’s Daily Overseas Edition

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arious cities in China are trying to bring about changes in both the development and consumption of goods to lead enterprises and citizens to lowcarbon consumption, guide them to consciously and willingly choosing environment-friendly products and services in all aspects of everyday life and avoiding waste, and encourage recycling. Such active efforts made to realize the country’s goal of peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060 are making low-carbon consumption and lifestyle a new fashion trend in society. A resident surnamed Wang who lives in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong province, has a strong environmental awareness. She trys her best to commute by subway, bus, or bike, rather than a private car. She also replaced water, electricity,

and gas devices in her house with energy-efficient ones. Wang has exchanged such lowcarbon activities for virtual “carbon coins” via a platform established by Guangdong province to encourage low-carbon lifestyle and reward small and micro firms, families, and individuals for low-carbon activities. “Carbon coins” can be used to buy commodities on the platform or donated to social welfare undertakings. In 2015, the platform was piloted in cities of Guangdong including Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Shaoguan, Heyuan, and Huizhou. Users of the platform can log in their account through such channels as website, mobile phone app, and official WeChat account of the platform to exchange their low-carbon activities for “carbon coins” and coupons. On March 12, 2021, China’s National Tree Planting Day, the platform combined game with green public welfare activities and promoted low-carbon lifestyle on

game platforms with a large number of users. To advocate low-carbon comsuption, the country needs a good environment created with societywide efforts, in which governments and enterprises can play important roles. East China’s Shanghai has been carrying out publicity activities on China’s National Low-Carbon Day every year to promote low-carbon lifestyle since China set the third day of its annual National Energy Efficiency Promotion Week as National LowCarbon Day in 2013. These activities covering many aspects of people’s daily life, such as clothing, food, housing, transport, and consumption have involved businesses, schools, office buildings, as well as enterprises and public institutions. In September 2020, Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport and Beijing Municipal Ecology and Environment Bureau joined hands with Chinese mapping service

providers Amap and Baidu Map to launch incentive measures to stimulate green travel. People who use the apps of Amap and Baidu Map to plan routes or navigate for trips made by bus, subway, bike, or on foot can get virtual “carbon energy” after they finish their trips. The “carbon energy” can be converted into rewards. As of February 2021, the daily number of active users in the green travel campaign had grown to about three million, and the accumulative amount of carbon dioxide emissions reduced because of the incentive measures, had reached 23,800 tons. Enterprises, as the providers of products and services, haven’t lagged behind in the nationwide efforts to advance low-carbon consumption. In the country’s catering industry, tradtional Chinese food restaurants and Western fast-food chains have rolled out small servings of food and joined the country’s “Clear Your Plate” campaign one after another to stem food waste.

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Education Maryam Abeeb

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he National Examinations Council (NECO) has released the results of the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination for External Candidates, noting that a total of 26,277 candidates obtained five credits and above including English Language and Mathematics while 34,014 candidates also obtained five credits and above irrespective of English Language and Mathematics. Announcing the results at the Council Headquarters in Minna , the Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. Godswill Obioma disclosed that a total of 41,459 candidates registered for the examination, out of which 39,503 actually sat. The Registrar who reiterated the Council’s zero tolerance for examination malpractice, noted that appropriate standards and excellence were maintained right from the planning stage to the release of results. Professor Obioma disclosed that 6,465 cases of examination malpractice were recorded in the 2020 SSCE External as against 17,004 cases in 2019. He noted that the reduction in the level of malpractice was as a result of deepened monitoring of

Maryam Abeeb, Abuja

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wo suspects were apprehended by the police over their alleged involvement in impersonation during the 2021 UTME registration. The suspects identified as 50-yearold Sesan Obasa, and his alleged accomplice, Salvation Terhembe, were arrested and paraded before newsmen at the headquarters of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, in Bwari, Abuja. Terhembe was picked up by staff of JAMB at one of the board’s registration centres in Bwari, following his unsuccessful attempts to carry out the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, registration on behalf of Obasa. The 36-year-old had appeared before a JAMB registration official and could have successfully scaled the first accreditation when the picture on the National Identification Number, NIN, showed he was impersonating Obasa. Terhembe, who admitted to carrying out the act, said he was contacted by Obasa to supply his information for registration at the JAMB centre because he was busy with work, adding however that he was only assisting him and not aware that his actions breached any rule of JAMB. Speaking in defence of his actions, 50-year-old Obasa, who had applied

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NECO 2020: 26,277 candidates obtain five credits in exam

the examination by members of the Governing Board, Management and Senior Staff of the Council. The Registrar explained that in line with the Council’s zero tolerance for examination malpractice, four supervisors who were found culpable of aiding and abetting malpractice have been blacklisted and would no longer be engaged in the conduct of NECO examinations. One examination centre in Ogun State has been derecognized for intimidation and several attempts to induce NECO officials as well as aiding and abetting examination malpractice. Professor Obioma further disclosed that the results of 256,000 candidates who missed some papers during the 2020 SSCE (Internal) due to the ENDSARS Protests in some states and who sat for those papers during the 2020 SSCE (External) are being released along side those of external candidates today. He added that “it is gratifying to

note that the examination was at no extra cost to the affected candidates”. A further analysis of candidates performance indicates that a total number of 29,918 obtained credit and above in English Language while a total number of 34,061 candidates obtained credit and above in Mathematics. The Registrar stated that year 2020 ushered in very daunting challenges essentially occasioned by COVID-19 Pandemic and ENDSARS Protests in the pursuit of the Council mandates. He explained that “this necessitated the rescheduling of the various examinations organised by NECO, for instance, 2020 SSCE (External) which ought to have been concluded in November/December 2020 was conducted in February/ March 2021”. According to him, “inspite of these, we were not deterred rather we remained resilient and resolute in the conduct of our activities”.

The Registrar reiterated the Council’s commitment to conducting credible examinations to improve the quality of education in the country. Professor Obioma explained that in view of the above, and based on approval of the Federal Ministry of Education, NECO has scheduled her public examinations for year 2021 as follows: National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) for admission of JSS 1 students into Federal Unity Colleges is scheduled for Saturday 29th May, 2021. Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) Internal is scheduled from Monday 5th July to Monday 16th August, 2021. Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is scheduled for Monday 23rd August to Monday 6th September, 2021 in order to enable students at that level cover enough subject matter for the examination.

The Registrar expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for finding him worthy to be appointed to serve in this capacity and contribute his quota to the development of education in the country. He also appreciated the Federal Ministry of Education under the able leadership of the Honourable Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of State for Education, Honourable Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and the Permanent Secretary, Arc. Sonny Echono, for their support to the Council. The Registrar also thanked the Governing Board of the Council under the able leadership of Dr. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed for their policy guidance in the implementation of the Council’s statutory responsibilities. Candidates are enjoined to access their results on NECO website www. neco.gov.ng using their examination registration numbers.

2021 UTME: JAMB nabs 50-year-old, one other over impersonation to study public administration, said he was misled by his determination to go to school, which moved him with desperation to put in for JAMB this year. He admitted that Terhembe carried out UTME registration on his behalf, and pleaded for leniency as he was

completely unaware that his actions were tantamount to identify fraud. JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who lauded the efficacy of NIN in checkmating Identity fraud, said but not for the use of NIN, the impersonator would have successfully carried out his registration.

Oloyede, who was visibly miffed by the activities of the dou, said they were “fraudsters,” vowing to hand them over to the police. “You can see the advantages of NIN; by the time we put this boy to test, you would see that he had done registration in previous years for other

people but because of we were able to uncover this,” he said. Recal that JAMB was inundated with multiple registration in the previous years, necessitating a policy by the board for the compulsory use of the National Identification Number in the 2021 UTME registration.

R-L: ; The Principal,Government Science Secondary School , Tunga - Maje, Abuja, Mrs Helen Nkoli Okedo receiving best principal for the year 2020 award in FCT from the National President , Foundation for Correction of Moral decadence (FCMD), Dr. Joseph Danley , during FCMD award ceremony for oustanding Nigerian that Perform well in their carrier and promoting morals value in our society, held recently at merit house Maitama Abuja

NOUN visitation panel to probe funds, insecurity Maryam Abeeb

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he seven-man presidential visitation panel set up by the Federal Government to look into the affairs of the National Open University of Nigeria has commenced work with ten terms of reference. During a meeting with the governing council of the institution, the chairman

of the panel, Isa Sali, told journalists that they would “Investigate the application of funds, particularly the special grants and loan meant for particular projects in order to determine the statue of such projects and their relevance for further funding.” Others included examining “the general security in the University and how the University has dealt with it and recommend appropriate measures.”

According to him, the meeting is to seek the support of the governing council on best strategies to carry out the assignment. The Federal Government had a few weeks ago set up and inaugurated visitation panels to all federal Universities and Inter-University Centers in Nigeria. Sali said the role of the panel was to examine the financial management of

NOUN, including statutory allocations and internally generated revenue over the recommended period. He said the panel would “inquire into the level of implementation of the white paper on the last visitation report, to examine the quality of the leadership of the University in terms of the role of the governing board, the vice chancellor and other principal officers.


PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Feature Kenneth who? How Africans are forgetting their history 26

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n our series of letters from African journalists, Sierra LeoneanGambian writer Ade Daramy considers what young Africans know about their recent history - and why it is important. I was shocked to find out on the 97th birthday of Kenneth Kaunda Zambia’s first president and a giant in the fight against colonialism - that some people had never heard of him. I had posted my birthday greeting to the nonagenarian on social media on 28 April with the tag line: “The only African independence leader from the 1960s still alive.” Many celebrated. Other were astonished, saying: “I didn’t realise he was still alive.” But to be honest, those under the age of the 30 were clueless. For someone who grew up in the 1960s in Sierra Leone, this was difficult to fathom. I was part of a special generation of Africans observing the emergence of colonial states on the continent into independent nations. UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, fresh from visiting several British African colonies, had delivered his now-famous “Wind of Change” speech in Cape Town to South Africa’s all-white parliament on 3 February 1960. By the following year, 17 African countries had gained independence. At school my classmates and I could proudly reel off the names of the leader of every independent African nation, including Milton Margai of Sierra Leone, Dawda Jawara of The Gambia, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Ahmed Sekou Touré of Guinea, Modibo Keïta of Mali, Léopold Senghor of Senegal - as well as Mr Kaunda. Egg and milk promise Kaunda, the youngest of eight children, was a school teacher before joining the independence struggle. This is when he became known for his guitar playing, composing liberation songs and travelling the country to drum up support for the campaign against colonial rule. Kenneth Kaunda famously wields his guitar wherever he goes - here on an official visit to Portugal in 1975 He went on to become Zambia’s founding president at the age of 40. His wish, he said, was for Zambians to have an egg on their table for breakfast every morning, a pint of milk - and for every Zambian to have a pair of shoes on their feet. Popularly known as KK, during his presidency he was a fierce critic of apartheid South Africa and whiteminority rule in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe - and he allowed groups fighting these regimes, like the African National Congress (ANC), to make

Kenneth Kaunda puts his longevity down to his diet, reportedly saying: “I eat only vegetables, like an elephant”

Kenneth Kaunda (R), seen here with a Zimbabwean struggle leader Joshua Nkomo (L), was at the forefront of calls for independence

- scoring more than 80% of the vote each time. He must have been too embarrassed to register 100%. Even within his own party, he changed the rules to keep getting selected as the only candidate. Eventually, Zambians felt Mr Kaunda had overstayed his time in office and voted him out in 1991 after mass protests forced him to reintroduce multi-party elections. Dreams forgotten In the three decades since the rush and joy of independence, the continent had become awash with dictatorships - which may explain why some of its post-colonial leaders are no longer remembered by a younger generation. Some were assassinated or deposed in coups, others had forgotten the dreams of people and the promises made to them. Africa still has leaders who have been in power for more than 20 or 30 years. Some have been in power for almost 40 years, like Cameroon’s President Paul Biya. He is only the second president Cameroon has had since independence from France in the 1960s. Perhaps it is because of this legacy that men who should be lionised are largely forgotten. And it makes me wonder what is taught in African history classes today. Surely Mr Kaunda - who since leaving office has largely kept out of politics and has devoted much of his energy to fighting HIV after losing one of his sons to Aids in the late 1980s - is someone who ought not to be forgotten. He is a living reminder of the continent’s history - good and bad and we can learn from both. Source: BBC

In 1960 UK PM Harold MacMillan (L) signalled that Britain was going to grant independence to its colonies

Zambia their base. Less than a month after antiapartheid leader Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1990 he visited Zambia, the home in exile of the ANC To begin with he made huge strides

towards improving the lot of Zambians, but betrayed the promise of democracy by introducing a one-party state in 1973. Mr Kaunda was the only candidate in elections in 1978, 1983 and 1987

To begin with he made huge strides towards improving the lot of Zambians, but betrayed the promise of democracy by introducing a one-party state in 1973. Mr Kaunda was the only candidate in elections in 1978, 1983 and 1987 - scoring more than 80% of the vote each time. He must have been too embarrassed to register 100%.

Kenneth Kaunda famously wields his guitar wherever he goes - here on an official visit to Portugal in 1975

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

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PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

Sports

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sports@peoplesdailyng.com, SMS- 08142929046

monday, may 10, 2021

Ministry to constitute Federations Electoral Committee By Albert Akota

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lans have been concluded to set up electoral committee to conduct elections into the boards of the recently dissolved boards whose tenure had lapsed. The Federal Ministry of Youth and sports Development on the 30th of April 2021, dissolved the boards of 30 National Sports Federations after the expiration of their tenures. According to a statement by the Director, FEAD Dr. Simeon Ebhojiaye “In order to avoid a vacuum in running the affairs of the Federations, the Ministry swiftly constituted a 3 man Caretaker Committee for each to hold the forth before the elections that will take place in September, 2021. As part of efforts to organize concise and credible elections that will stand the test of time, the Ministry has concluded arrangements to set up Electoral Committees which will conduct the Federations elections in September 2021”. He assured “The Ministry will not rest on its oars in ensuring that its mandate, mission and vision are achieved in repositioning the sports Sector in Nigeria”.

Sunday Dare

International Friendly: Nigeria, Senegal may battle in Austria

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ust as African soccer governing body (CAF) moved the 2022 World Cup qualifiers from June to September, Nigeria’s Super Eagles might still have quality game to play during that period. According to the reports coming from Senegal, negotiations are currently ongoing between Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Federation Of Senegal Football (FSF). Apart from Nigeria, Senegal is also having discussions with Cameroon and Ghana to have friendly matches, manager of Cameroonian national team Bil Tchato confirmed the negotiation to a news outlets in Senegal, RECORD. “Nothing is tied up yet. Discussions

are underway with our agent who represents us in the negotiations. There, the Cameroonian and Nigerian federations are in negotiations. We are almost in phase and the match is scheduled in Austria. Now, we are being told about Sé negal, Algeria or Ghana for a series of friendly matches in the same locality in Austria. In any case, at the beginning of next week, everything will be tied up and we will know exactly the opponents. Our President communicated with the President of the FSF (Augustin Senghor). They talk to each other all the time, ” said Cameroon National Team manager Bill Tchato.

Youth Ministry completes Digital Training for Youth PG30 >>>PG30


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Youth Ministry completes Digital Training for Youth By Albert Akota

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he Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has completed its 2020 Digital Training for Youth in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Device Repair and Training. Programming, Digital Marketing, Web Design and Cinematography. Participants for the training at the Youth Development Centre, Ode-Omu Osun State, were competitively selected from a pool of online applications from across the country. In addition to training the youth in the various digital skill areas, beneficiaries were equipped with tools to practice what they have learnt in line with the Ministry’s end-to-end training approach, which entails equipping trained youth to be self-employed. In this regard, the trainees were equipped with devices or packs that correspond to the skills they were trained for. Participants for Web Design, Robotic and Artificial Intelligence got one laptop computer each, those that were trained for Programming and Digital Marketing got one note pad each, trainees for Cinematography got one camera each , while Mobile Device Repair trainees got a starter pack each. It is imperative to state that this round of Digital Skills Training was provided through the Ministry’s 2020 Budget in the midst of budgetary challenges arising from the COVID 19 Pandemic. The Ministry, therefore encourages Nigerians who have inquiries about its skill training programmes , to make use of its robust virtual and onsite helpdesks at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja and not resort to speculations.

Sadiq assists as Almeria secures maximum points to get promotion

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igerian striker, Umar Sadiq was instrumental for his side Almeria as they secured convincing 1-0 away win over Tenerife in the Matchday 33 of LaLiga Segunda at the weekend. The Olympics Silver medalist created an assist that secured maximum points for Almeria when he put Largie Ramanazi through with a final pass which the youngster calmly finished up. The sleek and lanky forward was however swapped for Plaza Centelles with two minutes to end the game. The win has however put Almeria in comfortable third position for promotion having garnered 66 points from 38 games. The Kaduna born forward has swelled his goal involvement this season to 22 having scored 18 league goals and provided four assists in 33 matches. The 24 year old is waiting for his first senior cap for Super Eagles haven missed last month’s double header AFCON qualifiers due to Covid 19 challenges.

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 10, 2021

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders: Mexican wins with eighthround stoppage

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Sports ministry ratified membership on caretaker committees By Albert Akota

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ollowing the dissolution of Boards of National Sports Federations by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on Friday, 30th April, 2021, Caretaker Committees were put in place to oversee the affairs of the Federations, prior to the election of new Boards. Engr. Habu Gumel and Mr. Banji Oladapo were inadvertently appointed to serve in the Volleyball and Table Tennis Federations respectively. Therefore, the general public is invited to note that Engr. Habu Gumel has been substituted with Prof. E.O. Morakinyo in the Volleyball Federation

Caretaker Committee, while Mr. Banji Oladapo has been substituted with Barr. Oshodi Enitan in the Table Tennis Federation. In Consonance with the resolution reached by the Confederation of African Athletics/World Athletics intervention team on the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN,the Caretaker Committee announced for the Athletics Federation of Nigerian is rested and will not be inaugurated. Elections into the Board of the federation will follow the road map adopted at the intervention meeting in Abuja last month upon its adoption by World Athletics.

Cameroon Knocked Out Of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Football Ticket

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aul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez produced a devastating uppercut to leave a distraught Billy Joe Saunders unable to rise from his stool after eight rounds of their world title unification bout. Just as Saunders looked to be gaining a footing, the Mexican found a shot which caused an instant swelling over the British fighter’s right eye. Saunders’ trainer called the bout off, with his fighter unable to see. “I think I broke his cheek,” said Alvarez. “The truth is I knew it.” Alvarez, 30, added: “I guessed in the corner and told my trainer Eddie Reynoso ‘I broke his cheek’.” Within seconds of landing the pin-point blow - made more forceful by the fact Saunders was crouching into the shot - Alvarez raised his hands in front of his rival, ruthlessly letting the 73,126 in attendance know that he had broken the resistance of a man now at his mercy. The champion beat his chest defiantly when it became clear Saunders would not rise for the ninth. He had married patience with ferocity in seeing off the seventh British opponent of his career to now hold three of the four world titles at super-middleweight. As an emotional Alvarez was left in the ring in front of a record indoor crowd for a boxing event in the US, footage on the big screen inside Arlington’s AT&T Stadium showed a heartbroken Saunders visibly in pain on his walk back to his changing room. The 31-year-old was quickly taken to hospital with a suspected broken eye socket, an injury which has proven difficult to overcome for the likes of British fighter Kell Brook in recent years. Saunders - who was unbeaten in 30 fights was down on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage but he had unquestionably posed a puzzle and - albeit briefly - threatened to turn the tide in the middle rounds.

Early on the Briton struggled to hold off the calculated pressure of Alvarez, who threw with spite when up close while his rival could merely flick out shots in a bid to maintain distance. But through rounds six and seven Saunders landed more and his confidence peaked with every minute that Alvarez failed to pin him in. Some 59 fights - and only one defeat have however given the Mexican an assurance few ever enjoy between the ropes. When his moment came, he countered a Saunders attack with a decisive right uppercut and mercilessly followed it with an attack of head and body punches until the bell sounded. Now the owner of the WBA, WBC and WBO world titles in the super-middleweight division, Alvarez wants to fight American Caleb Plant for the IBF title in a bid to become the only Mexican in history to hold all four belts at 168lbs. Few would bet against him doing it and continuing a remarkable career he has said may go on for another seven years. Addressing the partisan crowd who cheered him passionately on Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend, he looked close to tears and said: “It’s something very difficult to explain. I don’t have words, the emotion I feel for all the people who have come out. The motivation they give me to continue on is very difficult to explain.” Saunders was a huge underdog and any win would have ranked among the greatest a British fighter had achieved on foreign soil. Some are quick to harshly judge a fighter who fails to stand from his stool. But the speed with which trainer Mark Tibbs called time made clear Saunders’ injury was severe and promoter Eddie Hearn said the corner “saved their fighter”.

ameroon women’s team will miss the Olympic Games for the second time in a row, after a drab 0-0 draw against Chile in the CAF–CONMEBOL intercontinental playoff second leg on Tuesday in Antalya, Turkey. The Lionesses suffered a huge setback in the first leg, after falling to La Roja 2-1 courtesy of Camila Saez and Carla Guerrero’s efforts despite Ajara Nchout’s late consolation for the Africans on Saturday. Just as expected at the Arslan Zeki Demirci Sports Complex, Nchout and Gabrielle Onguene controlled the firsthalf proceedings, with the latter firing a long shot only for Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler to make an easy save However, Yanara Aedo and Guerrero came close for the Chileans but Cameroon goalkeeper Michaelys Bihina was at her best to deny heading into half time. On resuming the contest, the Central Africans attempted to create some chances through Nchout and Onguene

in the second half but they could not find a way past the defence of Jose Letelier’s side. On the heels of their pouring attacks, Brigitte Omboudou was sent off, after receiving her second yellow card in the 64th minute, leaving her team-mates a player down to avoid conceding from Chile for the final 25 minutes. The draw saw the dream of an Olympic return for Cameroon dashed, while the South Americans finally secured their maiden qualification ticket to the Games this summer, following a 2-1 aggregate triumph. This also means Zambia will be the only African representative in the Olympic finals draw scheduled for 21 April at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. After edging Cameroon, Chile joined Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Great Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, holders the USA, Zambia and hosts Japan to complete the 12 teams at the Games.


. . . putting the people first

monday, may 10, 2021

SPORTS latest

Everton boost European hopes with hard-fought win at West Ham

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ominic Calvert-Lewin believes Everton have to “keep believing” after his winner reinforced their European credentials with a hard-earned victory away to Champions League hopefuls West Ham. After being fourth in the Premier League at the turn of the year, a run of six wins from 18 saw the Toffees slip to eighth. But Ben Godfrey’s slide-rule pass allowed Calvert-Lewin to score his 16th league goal of the season in the first half at London Stadium. And manager Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to play with three centre-backs was justified as his side defended resolutely to secure a second straight away win having also won 1-0 at Arsenal last month. Everton remain eighth but are now one point behind seventh-placed Tottenham and three behind fifth-placed West Ham - with a game in hand on both. The striker said: “I think every game is getting more important from now until the end of the season, so we simply have to keep believing and go into every game trying to win.” Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti added: “It was a vital victory, if we don’t win here we are out of the fight for Europe. “There was pressure on the game but we managed the game well. We played defensively at the top, really good, and were really dangerous on the counterattack.” For the Hammers, this is a big blow to manager David Moyes’ hopes of again leading an unfancied team into the Champions League having done so as Everton boss in 2005. Newcastle won at fourthplaced Leicester on Friday but this defeat keeps West Ham five points off the top four with just three games left. A Europa League spot would be some consolation for Moyes and his former club aim to join West Ham after claiming their 11th away win in the league this season - and their fifth in London. Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi

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George Floyd revolution and Nigeria Monday Column O n Tuesday April 20 a guilty verdict was passed on a dismissed police officer Mr Chauvin over the murder of George Floyd. This verdict represents a kind of revolutionary judgment in a way. Not too long ago, even with overwhelming evidence, as it happened in the case of Rodney King, the American judicial system would have delivered a not guilty verdict just because the victim was a black man. Systemic racism has always been part of the United States history. Try as much as smaller countries, even our own dear native Nigeria has tried to make her destroy her shameful racial records she is not in a hurry to change. In the 1950’s a copy of a Nigerian news magazine was taken to the United States from Nigeria to the USA. In that magazine was a photo of a Nigerian driving a Coca Cola Van. The picture led to an instant scandal. Whereas in Nigeria, black men could drive Coca Cola vans, in the United States at the time, black men were not allowed. The drink itself was considered too precious by the whites to be left in the hands of black ‘savages.’ When the civil right movements in the US moved into higher gear in the 60s, this case was often referred to as a stimulant to the demands by the blacks for equal rights. Racism in the US became so endemic since the days of slavery leading up to the American civil war-which was fought over the issue of slavery anyway; it became so rotten that up to the 1960’s any white politician closely associated with black men was written off as a doomed politician. There was this story we were told about in our journalism class in the 70’s on how a white politician got defeated in the race for congress just because his picture appeared in a newspaper shaking hands with a black man. As the candidate himself later took pains to explain, the picture was a perfect act of dirty political blackmail. He said he never knew the black man from Adam. The man was hired and

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By

Emmanuel Yawe royawe@yahoo.com 08024565402

paid handsomely to come and shake hands with him while he was on a campaign tour. A photographer was also hired to record the historic event and then the picture taken was widely distributed to make the point that the candidate was a ‘Nigger lover’ who deserved not to be trusted with white votes. Expectedly he lost all the white votes and the election. But equality of the human race is the most popular song every country – more so the United States - sings from its rooftop. Unfortunately the line “All men are created equal” articulated in the US Declaration of Independence is difficult to picture as a reality in the US of that time of declaration and even today. The overt lack of respect for black community who deserve to be treated with human dignity finally led to the death of George Floyd. And in a similar fashion after contributing very immodestly to the end of racial discrimination in Africa, Nigeria’s survival today faces the challenges of ethnic discrimination and violence, so common all over Africa. The death of George Floyd ignited long-simmering anger over racism with national eruption of demonstrators hitting the streets. Protests extended from Minneapolis to dozens of American cities. Why didn’t the death toll of more than 100,000 from the coronavirus pandemic send shockwaves? Why was it the killing of a single black man

that triggered such sweeping protests? While viruses do not differentiate people (regardless of their rank, race and age), racism and ethnic discrimination does. In the year 2008, I watched John Jerry Rawlings deliver an emotional lecture at the Trust… in Abuja he said of all countries in Africa, only Nigeria had the potential spirit to tell the white man off. He gave us an example of his experience at Heathrow airport while returning to Ghana after he trained as a young air force officer 1971. There was this Ghanian dressed in a threepiece suit who wanted to return to Ghana too but had overstayed his visa in the UK by six months. The British Immigration was questioning him on why he overstayed and he answered them in the most polite manner offering his explanations in the Queen’s English. They had hardly finished with the Ghanian when a Nigerian came dressed in Nigerian traditional dress. His passport indicated clearly that he had overstayed his visa in the United Kingdom for six years. Questioned by the British Immigration on why he overstayed in the UK for six years when he should have left, he immediately turned the tables. “Are you not happy that a Nigerian left his wonderful country to come and stay in this your country for six years? In Nigeria we have everything. Here you have nothing. You should be happy that I even stayed in your

re you not happy that a Nigerian left his wonderful country to come and stay in this your country for six years? In Nigeria we have everything

country for six years. What do you have here? Yeye country”, he yelled at the bemused British immigration officer who had no option but to let him go. According to Rawlings, he started respecting Nigeria and her citizens after the incidence at Heathrow airport. Nigerians he said were the only people with the right spirit to tell the white men off and let them respect the black man. Jerry Rawlings was the son of a Scotish white man from Scotland and a black woman from Ghana. He went further to tell us that his respect for Nigeria had nothing to do with our fabled wealth. Rather he respected Nigerians because of the “Nigerian spirit”. He kept repeating “Nigerian Spirit” until he choked on it several times during the lecture. “Africa is looking up to Nigeria and the country with this noble spirit to make Africa and the black race proud is letting her down. Why is Nigeria letting Africa down?” He asked repeatedly, his speech choked in emotion. It was obvious to many of us at the lecture that the former Ghanian President, a man of extraordinary emotional strength was in tears. Jerry Rawlings is dead now. If he came from alive from the dead to witness what we are doing with our country today – using ethnicity to destroy the Nigerian spirit and Nigeria itself, he will shed tears and more. He may even just drop dead.

DAN GAYE Dangai

PDP govs to FG: Don’t allow Nigeria become failed state —News

Which Nigeria?

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kaduna office: K6 Ahmadu Bello Way, opposite Kontagora road, Kaduna. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail: contact@peoplesdailyng.com; pmlnewseditor@gmail.com ISSN: 2141– 6141

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